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Americans happy with getting email from work in their free time

Staff Writer | May 10, 2017
Checking email outside of normal business hours does not appear to be a burden for U.S. workers.
Email from work
Life and work   Outside of normal business hours
About six in 10 workers say they check email outside of normal business hours.

Of these, few claim the amount of emails they have to respond to during off hours is unreasonable, or that it negatively affects their personal well-being or relationships with friends and family.

Less than a third of employees who check email outside of normal working hours say their ability to get their job done would suffer if they quit doing it.

Additionally, of those who use email at work, just 21% say it is extremely or very important to check email outside of normal working hours in order to advance, get promoted and get ahead at their company.

Results are based on interviews conducted March 9-29 with more than 800 adults who work either full or part time for an employer.

Checking email outside of normal working hours has been an issue in France, which recently passed a law requiring employers with 50 or more employees to develop policies allowing workers the right to disconnect from email after hours.

After-work emails have been called a "national epidemic" in Canada, and some companies and government agencies in Canada, Germany and Brazil have taken steps to curtail emailing outside of normal working hours.

When asked about the French law, described as giving "employees in larger companies the right to disconnect from email and other digital communication outside of normal working hours," six in 10 U.S. workers say they would favor that type of law in the U.S.

However, workers who already use email frequently outside of normal working hours are the least likely to favor such a law.

The impact of email is not an issue to the one-quarter of American workers who say that they don't have access to work email to begin with.

Of the three-quarters of workers (74%) who have an email account for work, 15% say they never check it outside of normal working hours.

That leaves 59% who both have a work-related email and say they check it outside of normal working hours, even if just rarely.


 

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