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Is the “Out of Office Auto-Reply” becoming redundant?

Business woman working from home.

With devices keeping us connected just about everywhere, many of us are struggling to justify the use of the “Out of Office Auto-Reply.” But to what benefit?

According to the latest Roy Morgan research, one in five Australian full-time workers now access their work network remotely.

The data showed that almost 1.5 million full-time workers (20 per cent) used the internet to access their work network remotely during an average four-week period in the year to June 2015.

While 11 per cent of Australia’s full time workers do some form of unpaid work from home, the research showed that those who access the work network remotely are almost twice as likely to do unpaid work from home at a staggering 22 per cent.

Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan research said, “full-time workers are increasingly willing and able (and perhaps expected) to access their work networks remotely, whether simply to check and reply to emails while out-of-office or to perform regular duties instead of (or as well as) coming in to work.

Michele said that while remote access to networks can be mutually beneficial for employers and employees, the “full impacts on workplace relations and productivity are yet to be realised.”

While the benefits of increased mobility can be left unsaid, failing to appreciate the value of ‘downtime’ could come at a cost for Australian employees.

Remote networkers were also found to be 30 per cent more likely than other full-time workers to be dissatisfied with their current job or to search for jobs online in an average four weeks.