According to a new survey by CareerBuilder, more than half – specifically 54 percent – of workers who have a smart phone or similar device check it when driving a vehicle.
With the obvious dangers of texting and driving, not to mention talking while driving, the use of an IVR system or even a speech recognition-type software could potentially save people from distractions on the road.
Conducted among more than 5,200 workers between Nov. 5 and Nov. 23, 2009, the survey noted that sales workers – 66 percent – used their smart phones while driving more than any other group surveyed, followed by 59 percent of professional and business services workers and 50 percent of health care workers.
Some workers admit they may be risking safety on the road to check their phones because they feel pressured to do so.
Company officials said that, per the survey, 21 one percent of workers said that they check their mobile device every time it vibrates or beeps and 18 percent report they are required by their company to be accessible beyond office hours via mobile device. Also, 14 percent of workers said they feel obligated to constantly stay in touch with work because of the current tough economy.
According to the survey, in addition to driving, workers with smart phones said they are checking in with the office on their smart phones from virtually anywhere and everywhere, including during a meal -62 percent; On vacation – 60 percent; While in the bathroom – 57 percent; Lying in bed at night – 50 percent; At a movie, play, musical – 25 percent and even on a date – 18 percent.
“It is challenging for workers to maintain a good work/life balance when they are constantly connected to the office, so turning their devices off is important for their health and safety,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder, in a statement.
Haefner said that the lines between work and life can be very blurry these days - 17 percent of workers said they feel like their work day never ends because of technology connecting them to the office.
“To reduce burnout and avoid potentially risky behavior, workers should allot technology-free time when away from work,” Haefner said, adding that the best advice would ideally be to turn off your smart phone when driving, set priorities for outside of work and always have a backup plan in place.
“If you anticipate being needed outside of the office, plan to have an out-of-office message or voicemail up, or leave contact information for others familiar with your area of the business. That way, any emergency can be handled appropriately if you can't get to it,” Haefner said.
While many may not think of it, utilizing an IVR system could be one way to eliminate the pressure of this constant problem, while simultaneously eliminating risks.