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Survey: Mobile Devices Improve Work Life Balance

We published a post last week concerning research by Dr. Gayle Porter predicting that employees may start suing companies for grinding work schedules that compel them to remain tethered to their Blackberries and cell phones 24/7.

Well, some executives beg to differ. A recent survey by Korn/Ferry International, an international recruiting firm, found that while 4 out of every 5 executives surveyed in 75 countries said they were constantly connected to work through Blackberries and other PDAs, cell phones and pagers, 77% of those responding also claimed that the mobile devices made their lives better by improving their work/life balance.

Presumably, the logic here is that mobile devices enable these executives to work from remote locations instead of having to work from the office. As one executive explained the benefits of his Blackberry, "It has helped me manage things without being in the office all the time. I travel a lot, to South America, and I can use it there, in the street, or in New York. It has also made me much more efficient."

True, but we still find it hard to understand how a 24/7 work ethic improves balance.

It should also be noted that the findings in the Korn/Ferry survey are contradicted by findings from an earlier survey of senior corporate executives by the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC), which found, among other things, that more than 50% of senior executives said they have not achieved a satisfactory work-life balance (party because they are constantly connected to work through Blackberries and other mobile devices). See our post on the AESC survey here.

See further media coverage of Korn Ferry survey here and here.

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