Xobni Survey: 70% of Us Email Outside of Biz Hours; 50% of Americans Email on Vacation

It’s no surprise to us in the fast-moving valley of tech companies that our personal time and work time are blurring.  We conducted a study in the US and UK that confirms email is not-so-slowly taking over our lives.  A survey of over 3,000 people points to a shift of from relaxation on vacation or the weekend to – you guessed it – more time working on email.

Here are the key takeaways from the survey:

  • The 9-5 work day is history! (Kudos to Computer Business Review for the headline of the day: Dolly Parton and the Death of 9-5)  There is no such thing anymore as the 9-5 work day in either the U.S. or the U.K. with the majority of workers regularly checking email on vacations, sick days, at home in bed, etc.
    • 72% of Americans and 68% of Brits check their email outside of regular business hours (vacations, weekends, non-work days)
    • 42% of Americans checking email outside of work hours shared that they do so when they take sick days compared to only 26% of Brits
  • Relax on Vacation? Seems like Americans need to take a tip from the Brits:  50% of Americans check email on vacation/during days off compared to 29% of Brits
  • Even the bedroom isn’t sacred anymore – 1 in 5 Americans who check email outside of business hours doing so in bed!  They are either checking in bed first thing in the morning or the last thing they do at night before falling asleep.
    • Interesting gender note:  Men are more likely to be checking email in bed compared to women – 21% compared to 16%

So, why do we do this to ourselves?  I mean, clearly we know we are doing it, but what keeps us addicted to email?   The results:  We’re more overwhelmed and under pressure that ever before.  Many people (43 percent) said they checked email outside of business hours in order to ease their workload and not feel so overwhelmed while in the office.  Another quarter of the people surveyed said they check email outside of work hours because they simply feel it’s expected of them.

These pressures brought on by our work and also ourselves, makes it difficult to fully unwind while on vacation or over the weekend.  We’ve been talking to people about their email for years, and often hear that the stress and overwhelming feeling people get on their first day back from vacation takes away all the relaxing/rejuvenation they experienced while out.  So in the survey, we asked people… are you overwhelmed upon returning from time away?  Over one-quarter of the people (26%) said they can’t handle/feel overwhelmed by the number of emails they received while out on vacation.  Further, nearly one in five people stated they find it difficult to be productive when they return to work because they have to spend too much time reading through old emails – many of which very well may not be relevant anymore.

At Xobni, we’re focused on helping people easily find the important information and people in their inbox – whether returning from vacation, or simply to manage the daily inflow of emails into your inbox.  Key Xobni features like threaded conversations can help people who have been out of the office quickly catch up on immediate issues without having to dig through message after message to get the full story.  To learn more about how Xobni can help you stay sane in Outlook, see some of our product demos/videos here.

Note: Survey conducted in partnership with Harris Interactive (in the US) and Opinion Matters (in the UK).  Full press release here.

Coverage of the survey so far has appeared in TechCrunch, Mashable, LifeHacker, CNET, and more.

2 Responses to “Xobni Survey: 70% of Us Email Outside of Biz Hours; 50% of Americans Email on Vacation”

  1. 1 Interesting E-mail Facts « HomesWithJonathan.com Trackback on October 31, 2010 at 8:21 pm
  2. 2 Tis the Season… to Work, Xobni Survey Finds « Xobni Blog Trackback on November 23, 2010 at 10:58 am

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Xobni’s contact management products offer lightning fast email search and organization of your inbox, as well as an innovative and comprehensive address book for the mobile device.


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