Email Outside of Working Hours Not Generally a Burden to US Workers, Survey Suggests

May 12, 2017

A recent Gallup survey suggests that only 8 percent of U.S. workers who email regarding work-related issues outside of normal working hours report that it is unreasonable, while 15 percent of workers report it to have a negative effect on their personal well-being.  Ninety-one percent of workers, meanwhile, find the amount of time spent emailing outside of normal working hours to be reasonable, and 17 percent report it has a positive effect on their well-being.  A separate Gallup report found that 79 percent of U.S. full-time workers found the ability to use their computer, tablet, or smartphone to work remotely outside of normal business hours a positive feature, with 42 percent viewing the development as "strongly positive."  This workplace development is not universally viewed as positive, however.  At the beginning of the year, a French law went into effect mandating employers to establish hours when staff should not send or answer emails.  The survey findings and the French law highlight the need to establish a clearly defined and realistic minimum time exception for non-exempt employees that recognizes the reality of technology as well as the fact that some employees want to stay connected to their workplaces outside of their normal working hours by using this technology.