The Industrial Revolution brought with it a revolution in terms of labor relations, too. The concept of the weekend and the 40-hour workweek can be traced directly to how advancements in technology made it possible for the American worker to get more done in a shorter amount of time. It’s ironic, then, that a more recent technological advancement seems to be blurring the lines between the workday and personal time.
Thanks to email, we can answer important business questions, coordinate co-workers’ efforts, and interact with clients and customers 24/7.
This has been great in terms of the flexibility it offers busy professionals, especially small business owners who have to manage multiple responsibilities. Though it also means it’s harder for many professionals to fully disengage from their work and take time for themselves. Email means we can work any time we feel like it, but it also means we may feel pressured to be working — even when we’ve already put in a full day. This can be good or bad, depending on your perspective.
Either way, however, email has led to some big changes in the way people work.
The following infographic illustrates how we deal with work email after hours. The results can differ based on demographics. The statistics detailed in this chart show us just how much the attitudes toward what constitutes “normal business hours” has changed already — as well as how it may continue to change for future generations.