With the explosion of smartphones and tablets, it should come as no surprise to find out that we spend a lot of time checking our work email when we’re not even in the office.

But just how much do we do it?

A new survey of 500 employees at small to mid-sized businesses reveals checking work email during non-traditional working hours has become as much a part of the work experience as casual Fridays and talking about your weekend by the water cooler.


Checking email on a regular basis isn't just for workaholics anymore. A total of 81% admit to checking work email on weekends, while 55% say they do so after 11 p.m. and 59% do it while on vacation. Even when they’re not actually on the clock, 64% say they look at their email at least once a day.


It seems the line between where it is and is not appropriate to check email is blurring. Ten percent say they have checked work email at a child’s school event, while 9% admit they’ve done it at a wedding and 6% confess to not really paying their respects to the dearly departed by taking a peek during a funeral. Another 6% who clearly need to let go also admit checking work email while they or their significant other were in labor.


Email continues to be the preferred form of communication within offices. When it comes to which type of communication tool they use most at work, 44% say email, 28% say the phone, 22% say an ancient system known as face-to-face talking and 6% go with IMing. Additionally, 76% of people will respond to an email within an hour while working, with 32% anxious folks getting back to someone within 15 minutes.


Even though email may seem like it’s always with us, we tend to have a very favorable view of it, with 90% saying it’s a blessing and only 10% labeling it a curse. Some people seem more attached to it than others. Maybe that’s why the oldest email a person claims to have saved was received all the way back in 1994. Hmm, wonder if it was from a Lycos account.

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