All work and no play?

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Danish professionals work looong hours. I’ve just had a look at the activity on a handfull or so professional news sites – it doesn’t stop before 2.00 in the night. An evening peak occurs around 21.00, after a dinner-pause at around 18.00. When I added it all together it non-office-hour usage came out 30 percent of total!

It’s all in my latest “digital view”-report, which you can find here.

I find the amount of time spend surfing professional related information remarkable. Somehow seems like the boundary between work and leisure evaporates as internet-penetration and spread of mobile phones gets reaches their full potentials (as the case is in Denmark).

Also, while I find the figures baring witness to a very flexible Danish work-environment, it’s also a potentially very stressing one. I do find it really cool how professional Danes have a great degree of freedom in deciding when to be at the office and when not. I’ve benefitted from this myself, picking up the kids from school at four in the afternoon and then throwing in a few hours extra work when they’re all asleep. But I’ve also found it has introduced a split-attention mode of behaving, never really having time off, always having an eye on the mobile phone and computer looking out for sms’s or mails of work related character. And given the magnitude of the long working hours among Danes the study documents, I’m seriously we’re faced with a threat to the overall work-life balance!

Here are the two graphs best summarizing the findings (click for larger versions)

night-and-day-activity

30 percent of all activity occurs off-hours at selected Danish professional new-sites

30 percent of all activity occurs off-hours at selected Danish professional new-sites