Working from home no longer seems to be the stress-free option for mobile employees, in light of new research from Wi-Fi network provider iPass.
According to the company's worldwide survey on 1,700 mobile workers, almost two-thirds were working 50 to 60 hours plus a week, while most were working weekends too. The results highlight a growing trend as last year's report found the average mobile worker works 240 hours a year longer than the workforce in general.
With countless participants admitting they sleep within an arms-length of their phones, the survey recorded almost a 20 per cent increase in a year of mobile workers saying they were waking up through the night due to stress.
Respondants typically said they will do anything possible to get an internet connection, with almost a third hijacking unsecure networks and another third driving around in their car in a desperate search for free Wi-Fi. The survey also found that 88 per cent of these wireless users thought cable-free access was "as important to their lives, or almost, as running water and electricity".
"Connectivity is like oxygen for today's mobile workers", concurred Evan Kaplan, CEO of iPass. "The improved ability to work anywhere as long as they are connected appears to be driving higher productivity".
But acknowledging the strain mobile working places on employees, he added, "Having control over when, where and how one works is a significant benefit [but] in terms of well-being, mobile workers themselves need to take care to manage the unique stressors that an always-connected work life brings".
With mobile usage causing "slightly increased friction" in the personal lives of 38 per cent of Europe's mobile workers, the survey indicated the negative effects had on partners, family and friends too.