BlackBerry backlash as always-on workers rebel

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BlackBerry backlash as always-on workers rebel

Research finds smartphone users working longer hours.

New research claims that many users of always-on wireless devices such as BlackBerry, Palm Treo and other smartphones are revolting against the blurring of boundaries between life and work.

A report from Solutions Research Group suggests that the jury is split on whether such devices liberate or chain people to their work.

A third of respondents to a US poll conducted by the analyst firm agreed with the statement: 'Devices like BlackBerry chain you to work more than they liberate you'. Some 34 percent were neutral and 34 percent disagreed.

Surprisingly, among those who own a BlackBerry or similar device, the results were not all that different: 34 percent agreed with the statement, 37 percent disagreed and 29 percent were neutral.

While smartphones give users the ability to get work done outside the office, the survey showed that owners are somewhat more likely to work longer hours as a result.

Among those who own a BlackBerry or similar device, 19 percent worked for more than 50 hours a week, compared to an average of 11 percent.

Some 53 percent of smartphone owners agreed with the statement 'I don't have enough 'me' time', compared to an average of 40 percent.

When asked to choose between 'time' and 'money', 56 percent those who own a BlackBerry or similar device chose 'time' and 44 percent chose 'money'.

The information comes from Solutions Research Group's Digital Life America, a syndicated consumer trend study.

The research covered representative samples of over 2,600 Americans by telephone and online between June and late September 2006.

"Contrary to shiny happy ads suggesting that we do more in less time, there is evidence to suggest that we simply do more, more of the time," said Kaan Yigit, study director for Digital Life America.

"While being always-on in a social context is a natural for young people, many of those in the 25-54 age group with families and corporate jobs are struggling with work-life blending.

"There is a need for the mainstream workplace culture to offer ways to counterbalance."
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