Checking your emails on your commute should count as work, say experts
Who's guilty of this?
A lot of people use the time on the way to and from work to fit in a little extra to make their day more productive. Others feel they have to in order to get a jump on the day ahead.
However, experts are now saying that commuters who are regularly using their travel time to check work emails should have that counted as part of their regular working day.
According to a study done by the University of the West of England, wider access to WiFi and better quality signal has lead to a rise in the number of commuters who are using the time to get work done before even stepping foot in the door of their office.
The study looked at over 5,000 rail passengers on commuter routes into London as WiFi became more available and found that 54 percent of those using the train’s WiFi were sending work emails.
Researchers found that those heading to the office were catching up on emails sent since they logged off yesterday, despite spending the commute home finishing off any extra work that needed doing.
“It’s dead time in a way, so what it allows me to do is finish stuff and not work in the evenings,” one commuter told researchers.
Researcher Dr Juliet Jain says these changes in behaviour now blur the boundaries between work and personal time and says the “real challenge is deciding what constitutes work”.
“This increasing flexibility has the potential to radically shift the work-life balance for the better – but it also leaves open the door to stress and lower productivity,” the Institute of Directors’ Jamie Kerr added.
“With the concept of clocking on and clocking off no longer straightforward, defining where leisure begins and work ends will be vital for both employers and individuals, as well as a complex task for regulators.”