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Are you among the 80 per cent of workers who can’t stop working?

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Faced with a dismal economy, complaining about having to work long hours will get you no sympathy. But what if all those extra hours, many of them spent corresponding with clients or colleagues through your smart phone, add up to an extra day of work?

According to a study by Good Technology, 80 per cent of 1,000 American workers surveyed continue working after they leave the office. The enterprise mobility company wanted to learn more about respondents' mobile work habits and found they checked their e-mail in bed in the morning (50 per cent), before 8 a.m. (68 per cent), after 10 p.m. (40 per cent), when they were out with their families (57 per cent) and at the dinner table (38 per cent).

On average, all that overtime work adds up to seven hours per week, almost a full work day. That's 365 extra hours a year. Half of respondents said they felt that they no choice in the matter. While smart phones give us the freedom to work wherever we want, this connectivity also means customers or your boss expect us to work whenever they want.

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As The Atlantic notes, the U.S. is "practically the only developed country in the world that doesn't require companies to give their workers time off." (But some states and local governments have their own minimum paid vacations laws). Meanwhile, in Canada, we get a minimum of 10 days of paid holiday, according to The Atlantic's chart.

If you feel like you're constantly tethered to your phone for work, why not take Tim Kreider's advice and try some "idleness"? In a blog for the New York Times, the book author writes about an epidemic of busyness and how it "serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness."

Mr. Kreider advises people to take some time to do nothing. "The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done."

Are you constantly checking your phone for work? Do you have any mobile etiquette rules when you're with family?

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