While it has been said that the holidays are best spent in the warm embrace of kith and kin, this season, 57 percent of full-time employees in the U.S. will spend at least part of their holiday break clutching laptops, smartphones and tablets to catch up on work.
In a recent study, ZixCorp asked more than 1,000 full-time employees about their work practices outside of their regular “9 to 5.” The survey explored not only how much time employees spend working outside regular business hours but also how they are accessing work outside the confines of corporate walls.
Let’s take a look at some high-level findings.
- There is a surprisingly large expectation that employees be reachable outside “9 to 5.” Of the respondents, 76 percent said it’s either stated or implied that they be accessible outside of regular work hours. Combined with the fact that the majority of employees use their personal (not company-owned) devices to access work after hours, it seems like a no brainer that companies would then invest in a non-intrusive BYOD solution on personal devices to access and protect corporate data on the go.
- BYOD impacts work/life balance. Of the respondents, 75 percent believe that the ability to use mobile devices to access work information or email outside of work hours is a positive development, and 68 percent said that being able to access their work outside of regular hours is necessary to do their job effectively. If used in excess, BYOD may hinder work/life balance, but overall BYOD provides the flexibility employees want to leave the office when needed and still be productive.
- Companies may not realize the extent to which their employees are accessing work after hours. On their days off, 64 percent of full-time employees spend time working, with 22 percent working four hours or more; 43 percent of full-time employees spend more than an hour working at night after they leave the office.
- Email is the driving force. Respondents said the primary work completed during their off time is checking/responding to work emails. Email is the backbone of business communications today, and with instant access on mobile devices, email assists employees in responding to customer requests, finalizing big deals or keeping them informed of a project status, even when on the go.
In this era of BYOD and accessibility, it’s more important than ever for employers to leverage the appropriate security measures for employees to securely access company data away from the office. To meet the growing need to access work outside the traditional office and enable a more productive workforce, employers should be accountable for implementing the right BYOD policy during the upcoming holiday season and thereafter.