An increasing number of businesses are offering employees the opportunity to work from home as a perk, something that’s been enabled in part by email. For better or worse, email has blurred the lines between “work” and “home” to the point at which many professionals have their work email accounts connected to their smartphones. That means, even when they’re sitting on the couch in their living rooms in sweatpants, their work still can find them. Like it or not, email makes staying connected to our jobs much easier, and most professionals are not shy about using it whenever they have the opportunity. It’s estimated that nearly 269 billion emails are sent every day, which averages to more than 36 emails every day for every man, woman and child on Earth. Because not everyone on Earth has email or uses it often, some of us shoulder more of that burden than others.
As email makes the distinction between work hours and off-time weaker, many of us have developed a love-hate relationship with our inboxes. The way we view our work email accounts tends to change depending on our demographics. For example, younger people are more inclined to believe that receiving work email makes them feel important, but baby boomers were far less likely to agree with that feeling. More than 60 percent of people check their work emails at least occasionally while they’re on vacation. A whopping 75 percent say they will check their work email on weekends or holidays. When it comes to sending work emails long after business hours are over, nearly one in four people say they have sent work emails after midnight.
Although some people have adopted the “zero inbox” approach that forces them to take action on emails as soon as they appear, not everyone follows this approach. As technology continues to encroach further into our everyday lives, the opportunities for work email to invade our “off” hours become even greater. As the statistics detailed in the following infographic tell us, we’re becoming more and more accepting of that fact, and there may come a day in the future when there’s no such thing as being “off work.”
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