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February 17, 2010

Email addicts put work and relationships at risk

Marriage proposals, funerals, holidays…no event is safe from messaging

By Vinod

Email addiction and work pressure are provoking employees into risky and inappropriate behaviour, according to a mobile messaging survey.

Three-quarters of respondents to a Neverfail-commissioned study admit to texting while driving, 78% to checking their messages in the bathroom and an unromantic 11% admit to surreptitiously sneaking a peak at messages during what’s described as an “intimate moment”. The only improvement in behaviour from last year’s survey was an 11% drop in air passengers sending emails during a flight – only 30% admit to this.

Michael Osterman, president of Osterman Research which carried out the research, said that this part and parcel of the pressure employees felt to be constantly on call to the office. “As email has become integrated into mission-critical business processes, employees are feeling extraordinary pressure to be constantly available,” he said.

So mission-critical is email, that 85% of respondents felt it would impact their mobile email packed up for even an hour.

Workers also found it very hard to switch off at home. Almost a full-house (94%) of respondents said they checked their email in the evenings and a similar number couldn’t resist a look at weekends. No surprise then that a high percentage also kept tabs on their email on holiday, many admitting to hiding their “addiction” from their friends and family.

It’s not just work events that are being communicated using mobile devices. Some 10% of respondents received a marriage proposal through a mobile device, while 6% were dumped and 35% were notified of a death of a family member.

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