Research by specialist IT staffing provider, Modis, has suggested that many employees find themselves on call all of the time.

The increased use of mobile devices has become an important component of business in recent months; however this is leaving office workers unable to switch off and many admit that they regularly take their work home with them, according to the survey.

Research found that of the 1,014 office workers surveyed, 56% regularly check their emails before work, 66% look outside of office hours and 60% say they view their emails at the weekend.

In regards to reasons for looking at mobile devices outside of contracted hours, 36% of office workers cite time pressures during the working day, but many respondents also feel obliged to make themselves available to meet the expectations of other people in the company.

Twenty-nine per-cent said they needed to be available to meet the demands of senior management, with the same amount of workers feeling that way in regards to their colleagues, and 24% believe their clients’ needs are important outside of working hours.

Advancements in technology clearly have benefits for workers, and this survey found that 43% recognise flexible working hours as a perk of the developments. The ability to work from home was another bonus with 37% of respondents noting this as a benefit.

However, the findings also found that despite the benefits, 20% admit that their free time is being squeezed, while 15% say they never switch off.

Speaking in wake of the survey results, Roy Dungworth, Managing Director of Modis, said:

“Portable technology should be a liberator not a shackle for the modern workforce. The ability to work from home when needed is a positive development, giving people greater working flexibility that ought to bring better quality of life. However, businesses also need to be aware of and manage potentially negative repercussions to ensure employees don’t feel mentally chained to their desks.

“Employers have a responsibility to ensure workers know the limits of what is and what is not expected of them. There is a big difference between catching up on a few emails on the bus home and feeling obligated to respond to midnight requests from colleagues or clients. IT and HR teams should work together to explain why mobile devices are being made available to employees and set clear guidelines as to exactly what is expected of them in terms of remote working.”