Workers cannot resist email, even over Christmas

2005

Almost half of British men and a third of women will disappear at some point over Christmas to check their work emails, a new survey has suggested.

The study by Fujitsu Siemens Computers has estimated that overall 11.5 million British workers – more than four out of 10 - will check their work emails at some point over the festive season.

By gender, 48 per cent of male workers will log in compared with 33 per cent of female workers.

Regionally, workers in Greater London are the biggest email addicts, with more than half saying they will check work emails over Christmas.

This compares with 35 per cent in the north east of England, Yorkshire and the Humber.

Nearly seven million of these Christmas emailers will log in using a mobile or hand-held device, laptop or internet phone.

Of the more than 800 people polled, 42 per cent said their mobile devices would enable them to spend more quality time with their family over the festive period.

This was because mobile technology gave them the freedom to check their emails from anywhere, without having to leave the celebrations.

By contrast, more than one million workers feared that they would lose family time by not having the technology to allow them to check their emails on the move.

Garry Owen, head of product marketing at Fujitsu Siemens Computers, said: "Unfortunately, today's 24/7 society means it is not always possible to completely escape our working lives and it sometimes necessitates having to work out of office hours. Our research shows this even stretches to the festive period."

But the growing use of mobile technology meant that dealing with work emails was becoming easier to bear and could allow workers to spend more quality time with their families, he added.

"However, there is still some way to go and it is sad that so many will have to interrupt their family gatherings this Christmas to work," he continued.

"We would encourage employers to explore how they can help employees to limit time spent working during family times such as Christmas," he added.