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Smartphones Encourage Longer Working Hours

Napthens - December 26th 2012

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (‘CSP’) has carried out an online survey of approximately 2000 office workers and the results suggest workers have become “screen slaves” and are often working while commuting or after they get home.

UK office staff are topping up their working day with more than two hours of extra screen time, on average, per day.

This may not come as a surprise to most, with access to emails and other software 24 hours a day on smartphones, tablets and laptops.

The main reasons cited for extra work were:

  • to ‘ease the pressure of the working day’ (35%); and
  • ‘too much work to do’ (33%).

Although this may appear to be good news for employers, indicating increased productivity, employers need to ensure that workers have the opportunity to rest and switch off if they are regularly taking work home with them. Stress and pressure can lead to poor health.

Dr Helena Johnson chair of the CSP, said “a healthy workforce is a productive one, so the businesses that fail to invest in the wellbeing of their staff are pouring money down the drain. Sickness absence can be devastating for the individual and very expensive for the employer”.

The Working Time Regulations 1998 set out minimum rest periods, including a daily rest period of not less than 11 consecutive hours and an uninterrupted weekly rest period of not less than 24 hours. Employers should ensure workers are taking time out to switch off and re-charge and should monitor workload to prevent prolonged exposure to excessive pressure and stress.