Dolly Parton and the death of 9-5

The Boardroom

by | 02 September 2010

Email add-on firm Xobni has released results of a study that suggests we no longer indulge in a day off and the traditional 9-5 working day is very much a thing of the past as workers are glued to their emails 24/7. What would Dolly Parton say about that?

"Tumble outta bed/And stumble to the kitchen
Pour myself a cup of ambition/Yawnin, stretchin, try to come to life
Jump in the shower/And the blood starts pumpin
Out on the streets/The traffic starts jumpin
And folks like me on the job from 9 to 5"

So sang Dolly Parton on her 1980 hit 9 To 5, and who are we to argue? Well, Xobni says that the 9-5 working day is over because the constant pressure of the modern world means workers feel compelled to check emails all the time.

The survey of US and UK workers found that 72% of US employees and 68% of Brits who check their email outside of "regular work hours" do so whilst on vacation or during the weekend or any other non-work day.

Even sick days no longer mean a day away from email - 43% of workers in the States and 25.8% of us here in the UK check email when we're ill.

The reasons for this are that the turbulent economic situation (what else?) means workers feel compelled to work longer hours to keep up with their jobs, and the proliferation of email-enabled smartphones adds to the stress by increasing the amount of email we send and the ease with which we can check it.

This has resulted in one quarter (27%) of Americans and a fifth of Brits (20%) checking email out of work hours because they feel they are expected to provide quick responses, while 37% of US workers and 45% of UK employees are scared that they will miss something important by not checking emails all the time.

Incredibly one in five (19%) Americans and 14% of Brits check email in bed, whether it's before nodding off or once they're awake in the morning.

Those of us lucky enough to take time off are likely to be greeted with a staggering number of emails upon our return. A whopping 86% of UK workers claim they get too many emails to respond to all of them or are overwhelmed by the volume of emails upon returning from holiday.

I doubt the results of this survey will surprise that many people - smartphones and laptops mean that working while not in the office is easier than ever and there have been numerous similar studies recently along these lines.

Maybe it's time for Dolly to release an updated version of her 1980 hit. How does "Working 24/7, what a way to make a livin'" sound to you?

Xobni (inbox spelled backwards - see what they did there?) is an email add-on that enables you to search and organise your inbox and links up contacts with social media profiles.

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