Mobile technology has shifted the work-life balance of millions of professionals dramatically in the last decade.

Admittedly, accessing emails on the move is a godsend for those involved in time-critical deals.

It often seems though that the ubiquitous BlackBerry has created a world in which the speed of response defines an individual's perceived commitment to their employer.

The UK government's current determination to win an opt-out from the EU's Working Time Directive suggests no respite for our internet warriors.

However, one of the sector's leading players reckons many companies simply haven't worked out how to balance the opportunities of mobile technology with the needs of their staff.

T-Mobile reckons politicians, employees and business leaders alike should take a fresh look at flexible working practices.

"The Government recognises that a flexible workforce is more productive, but that should not necessarily mean working longer hours for those who do not wish to," said its UK head of business marketing, Derek Williamson.

"Mobile working enables people to take advantage of 'deadtime'; waiting at an airport, travelling to a meeting, or even just waiting for meetings to start.

"However, with a decision regarding the UK's opt-out still in the balance, companies must examine ways to reduce working hours, whilst maintaining and even improving productivity."

Mr Williamson says the issues of mobile working need to be addressed throughout the economy.

"The first adopters of technology were the large corporates, but now it is spreading across all business sectors, and the same challenges are arising."

He believes it is critical for businesses to define what they expect from mobile technology, and how its use can be melded into future working practices.

"Someone in each company needs to take ownership of the technology, to understand who needs it, and to train the people who will use these devices," Mr Williamson added.

"Companies are becoming more sophisticated in deciding what they need, but they must differentiate between increased output, and 'good' output."

Mr Williamson also believes individual users need to learn discipline.

"We all have to know when to turn our BlackBerry off. If I see an e-mail has landed at 10pm, I want to know why someone was sending e-mails at that time.

"The length of our working week is a complex and emotive issue, but we must evolve a new business model in which the quality of one's output is more important that the number of 'extra' hours worked."