Checking e-mails on the commute into work 'should count as work', study says 3 years ago

Checking e-mails on the commute into work 'should count as work', study says

Interesting news if you're someone who likes to start their working day on the commute.

Receiving work-related e-mails while you're out of the office is common practice.

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You have no obligation to reply to them, but you can and many people do to get a headstart on your workload.

A new study, however, has shown that so many people check their e-mails on the commute into work, that it should be factored into their actual working hours.

A study conducted by the University of the West of England showed that 54% of survey participants using WiFi on trains were doing so to send work e-mails.

BBC reported that the study examined over 5,000 passengers as they commuted in London.

Researcher Dr Juliet Jain said that the advancement of technology had caused a "blurring of boundaries", between work and home life, which now extends to the commute.

"How do we count that time? Do workplace cultures need to change?" Jain asked.

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She discussed the difficulty of monitoring such a thing, saying: "There's a real challenge in deciding what constitutes work."

On the other hand, business leaders have recognised the difficulties and warned about the possibility of damaging productivity if the line between work-life and home-life became too blurred.

Jamie Kerr, of the Institute of Directors, said: "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."