Staff with mobile technology such as BlackBerrys work an extra 15 hours a week as they constantly check emails even when leaving the office, according to new research.
A survey of over 600 employees revealed many were turning into workaholics because of the ability to receive and send messages and work online even when they were at home.
Employment law firm Peninsula said the working day was being extended to around 55 hours for many people and urged employers to make sure their staff were not breaching working time regulations.
Managing director Peter Done said: “It is important for staff to spend quality time away from the office, spending time with the family, or undertaking recreational activities rather than tapping away responding to client emails or deadlines so that they keep a healthy work/life balance.
“Bosses should encourage staff not to work from home unless necessary and inform staff that they should limit working from home. If they are happy to work away then ensure they agree to opt out of the maximum working week and have this signed. Limit the extent to which employees are using their devices when they choose to do so. Un-rested employees will be less productive during the working day. The recession has forced everyone to become more productive and for those with access to work at home, this is an opportunity for them to catch up or get ahead. With email on tap, employees with smartphones are able to respond a lot quicker and also get themselves prepared for the working day ahead by checking their email first thing.
“Employees should be encouraged to take appropriate rest breaks if they do choose to continue working out of hours. Having a well-rested employee with a good work/life balance is a lot more useful than a tired employee that put one too many hours in the night before.”