Work email from vacation, dinner and bed

People are looking at work-related email while on vacation, at dinner and in bed, according to a new survey.

Constant communication at work is leading people to spend increasing amounts of their personal time responding to emails, text messages and phone calls, the Nortel survey of 2,300 adults worldwide found.

Despite 31 per cent of respondents believing that their companies' solutions helped them maintain a work-life balance, nearly a fifth of hyperconnected employees said their companies' solutions failed to do this.

The survey found that 60 per cent of people email while on holiday, 40 per cent send emails from bed and over 30 per cent of respondents send emails from restaurants.

The survey also found that 67 per cent use their mobile phones and 64 per cent use their laptops for business and personal use.

"With this report we found that no matter where you are globally there is an explosion of hyperconnectivity. Right now we're in that state where the number of applications connected to the network is more than the number of people," said chief information officer of EMEA at Nortel David Quane.

Up to 47 per cent of respondents said that a network outage at work would have an extreme impact on them. The survey also found that two-thirds of those asked use text or instant messaging for both work and personal use. Over a third use social networking for both.

Quane said that Nortel was embracing hyperconnectivity and that those companies that banned applications such as social networking sites were fighting a losing battle.

"From our companies perspective we have challenges to address. These include expanding on the network and maintaining a work-life balance. What we're finding is that a lot of prospective employees are seeing what kind of network companies are offering."

"Although accessing some sites can leave you vulnerable to security breaches, I think that by banning applications some companies are fighting a losing battle. The way to combat security issues is though education and training. It's not usually the technology that lets you down, it's often individuals."