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Mobile workers work longer hours

Good news for employers, not so good for employee stress levels

Almost two-thirds of mobile employees say they are working 50 to 60 hour-plus weeks, with most working weekends too, according to research.

Despite the long hours though, most mobile workers say they will do anything possible to get an internet connection, with almost a third hijacking unsecure networks and another third actually driving around in their car in a desperate search for free Wi-Fi.

Enterprise global Wi-Fi network provider iPass surveyed 1,700 mobile employees at 1,100 enterprises worldwide, and found there was almost a 20 percent increase in a year of mobile workers reporting they were waking up through the night due to stress.

The figures from an enterprise mobile networking connectivity firm hardly confirm the perceived rosy picture of unleashed office workers being given the freedom to work how and when they like, to reduce the stress of a daily commute to the office.

Whether they are doing themselves any good is clear from the results, but their employers are laughing, according to iPass. "Connectivity is like oxygen for today's mobile workers. The improved ability to work anywhere as long as they are connected appears to be driving higher productivity," said Evan Kaplan, CEO of iPass.

Kaplan added however: "While having control over when, where and how one works is a significant benefit in terms of well-being, mobile workers themselves need to take care to manage the unique stressors that an always-connected work life brings."

The survey also found that 88 percent of these wireless heads thought cable-free access was "as important to their lives, or almost, as running water and electricity". Another 95 percent reported significant reductions in their job productivity without wireless access.

Also, 58 percent of mobile workers expressed frustration accessing corporate applications that are not optimised for smartphones and tablets.

Maybe not surprisingly mobile usage is causing "slightly increased friction" in mobile workers' personal lives with their partners, family and friends. The highest amount of friction was reported in Europe at 38 percent.

In addition, for even more connectivity, 27 percent of mobile workers intend to buy an iPad in the next six months, followed by 8 percent who intend to buy a Samsung Galaxy tablet.

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