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Line between work and life blurring further, report finds

Over half of employees are now mixing business with pleasure, with some 50 percent receiving work-related phone calls or emails outside of regular office hours, leading experts to urge businesses not to place added pressure on staff after business hours.

According to a new report by Randstad, 52 percent of employees handle work-related matters in their private time and 51 percent manage private matters at work.

Randstad CEO Fred Van Der Tang believes these results are a reflection of the evolving nature of the modern workforce.

“Changes in our working environments have traditionally been driven by productivity pressures, increased demand for flexibility and the growing need for businesses to operate on global timeframes. But it’s the advent of smart phones, tablets and improved Wi-Fi networks that has facilitated this change. This is the reason why, in recent years, we’ve seen a greater blurring of the lines between our work and personal lives,” Van Der Tang said.

According to Van De Tang a healthy work/life blend is vital, especially now more employees are dealing with work-related matters off the clock.

Businesses need to be careful not to place any extra expectations or pressure on employees after business hours. Workloads needs to be monitored and communication between an employer and employee should continually be open.

“Whatever the situation, employers and employees need to be comfortable with the arrangement and there should be a clear understanding and well-defined boundaries,” Van Der Tang added

Despite this warning, Van De Tang believes a some kind of balance may have already been struck.

“It would be concerning to me if this was a one-way street, but the figures suggest that a similar amount … are also handling private matters at work.  It was once unacceptable at many workplaces for employees to deal with private matters at work, but in the modern workplace this is no longer the case. So while the lines may now be blurred, there appears to be a suitable understanding between employer and employee.”

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Claire Hibbit

Claire Hibbit

Claire Hibbit is an intern at Dynamic Business and has just completed a Bachelor of Journalism, majoring in Communication and Media Management from the University of South Australia. She enjoys all things media and travelling.

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