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Do you have workweek creep?

Do you have workweek creep?

Do you find yourself answering emails at home? Using your BlackBerry over the weekend? Taking work calls at dinner? Then you’ve got workweek creep.

January 25, 2011 4:57 by

Do you find yourself answering emails at home? Using your BlackBerry over the weekend? Taking work calls at dinner? Then you’ve got workweek creep. Better see a doctor pronto.

Only kidding, it won’t kill you (probably), but it is serious. And according to Kipp’s poll, the vast majority of you are suffering from it.

Workweek creep is one of those new, modern lifestyle terms that are fast gaining popular recognition. No, it’s not a way of referring to the office weirdo (Kipp has known a few), it refers to the expansion of the average working week, probably via the medium of your smartphone or computer. As the Urban Dictionary explains, your constant connectivity blurs the boundaries between your work life and your personal life. It’s a very modern phenomenon, and a virtually universal one, it seems.

When Kipp asked readers if they answer work related emails outside of work hours, we got an overwhelming response: an incredible 80 percent of you do. Half of those (so 40 percent overall) say they always answer work related emails out of work, while the other half (again, 40 percent overall) say they occasionally do.

As the smarter ones amongst you have already figured out, that leaves 20 percent of people who don’t check their emails outside of work – 9 percent because they don’t have the technology, and 11 percent just because.

Kipp is ashamed to admit it’s one of the majority, but proud to say we’re not totally available. We sometimes handle emails and manage the site when we’re not in the office, but we do try to limit it a bit. But what’s causing the apparently mass spread of workplace creep?

A combination of factors, but for the most part it comes down to two. Firstly new technology, which allows you to make and receive calls pretty much anywhere, and which offers easy, cheap, instant access to the internet to both receive and send emails and messages whenever and wherever you like. And secondly, the current strained economic circumstances, in which we all fear for our jobs. That fear puts pressure on us – both imaginary and real pressure – to be constantly available, accessible, and compliant to our superiors, colleagues and customers. When the resources exist to reach people all the time, many feel like they are shirking their responsibilities if they don’t make themselves available.

What we’d like to know is: how many people enjoy or appreciate this new aspect of modern working life? Kipp doesn’t, and we can’t imagine why anyone would. Do you?

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1 Comment

  1. Caroline T on February 1, 2011 11:48 am

    Isn’t it also the employer / client expectation that we are always available? working hours are just not respected in this part of the world. If we have ‘western’ clients, we have to be available on Friday – and regional clients often work Saturday-Thursday anyway! Add to that the increased work load / reduced manpower for most companies, and is it any wonder we have to handle emails outside office hours!


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