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Is technology tying you down?

New technology is allowing work to intrude further into our personal lives yet many of us refuse to hit the off button when we go home, according to the Sensis e-Business Report released today

The report, which has been produced annually by Sensis since 1995, surveyed 1,800 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and 1,500 consumers about technology usage, including the emerging use of BlackBerry® and other mobile email devices.

Report author Ms Christena Singh said more than half of BlackBerry® users told us they responded to work-related emails out of office hours.

"A staggering four out of 10 people said they respond to emails outside of work hours most or all of the time," Ms Singh said.

"However, it appears we are divided about whether this new technology aids or impedes our work-life balance.

"On the one hand, about three in ten people believe the new devices allow them to balance work and life better or to have flexibility to work away from the office.

"On the other hand, about three in ten people said the technology intrudes into their personal lives and they receive constant calls or emails," she explained.

"Whether we believe these new devices benefit or impede our lifestyle, it appears we have a hard time turning them off," she added.

Just over half said they never turn the devices off, with one third turning them off only over the weekend.

"In fact, about half said they would be reluctant to give up the device," she said.

Forty-nine per cent of users said they were either definitely or somewhat unwilling to give up their BlackBerry® or mobile email devices.

Three out of 10 people felt so strongly about the device that they would never consider giving it up.

Forty-two per cent of users said they were very willing or somewhat willing to give up their mobile email devices.

These devices are still in the early take up phase, with five per cent of Australians and 11 per cent of SMEs currently having a device.

The take-up of mobile email is predicted to nearly double over the coming year for consumers.

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