Have you ever wondered if you’re the only person in your office who also uses personal email for work-related business? Or are you a strict separator of your work and home life and curious about who else may be just like you? Either way, there are answers. The folks at Avatier conducted a survey to find out who uses their personal email for work communication and vice versa. According to their findings, almost 40% of people of people use their personal email accounts for work-related communication. However, the breakdown reveals further variances.
62.2% of people surveyed said they never used personal accounts for work emails, but of the remaining 37.8% of respondents, how often are personal emails being used for work-related tasks? The survey results show that 18.3% said they rarely mix the two and 9% of workers admitted to handling work emails on personal accounts all the time. Furthermore, 16% of survey completers forward work emails to their private email accounts.
Interestingly, 77.3% of people never use work emails as login information for personal accounts. This means that nearly one in four people do! Most workers only do this on occasion, but 2.3% of people admit to using work emails for personal logins often.
Age and Email Use
When it comes to using personal emails for work-related communication, age does play a factor. For instance, the survey shows that respondents 18–34 years in age and those over 65 are more likely to use their personal email accounts for business matters. Whereas the middle age range (35–64) is more likely to keep work and personal emails separate. Adults 18–24 are 61.5% likely to integrate their email usage and only 23.7% of adults 45–54 integrate their personal and business emails.
However, the data alters when looking at who forwards their work emails to their personal accounts. In this case, people ages 18–24 are 9.1% more likely to forward that email. Respondents aged 25–34 were 11% less likely to forward an email. Groups in ages 35–54 were also more likely to forward their work emails to personal accounts, whereas ages 55+ were less likely to forward information from their work emails to their personal email accounts.
Does Gender Factor In?
Do women use their email accounts differently than their male coworkers? The survey shows that in multiple categories, male participants integrate their work and person email use. Female participants tend to keep their work and personal emails separate, without nearly as much overlap. 41.9% of males and 34.1% of females have used personal emails for work communication. 9.8% more men are logging into personal accounts with a work email. 20.7% of male respondents forward their work emails to personal accounts, whereas only 14.8% of females do the same.
Location and Email Use
The survey results show that New York respondents contradict the national data. For instance, when it comes to how often people integrate their emails, only 9% of people nationally use their personal email addresses for work related communication all the time, but 47% of New Yorkers do. When looking at the overall collection of data, 62.2% of people nationally never use personal email for work messages. New Yorkers are more likely to integrate email use as only 32.8% of respondents say they never do.
The Best Policy
Job searching websites suggest some of the best policies when it comes to email usage. To begin with, almost every medium to large company this day and age should have an internal company email system. Company email is a basic and important form of communication. Be wary of companies that do not, because it could be a sign of technology ineptitude or poor organization. Job searching companies highly suggest not using work emails for personal communication.
So why is that?
There are several reasons for this, from company security to embarrassing mishaps. Imagine accidentally forwarding your weekend party plans to the entire company, or worse, sending them what happened the weekend before! As well, careers are interchangeable. If you constantly use your work email for personal communication and you change jobs, it’s going to be hard to keep track of your contacts. Your friends will also become frustrated with your 17 email accounts and wondering which one is in use. Keep it simple and use personal email for life and work email for work!
It goes without saying that if you’re searching for new employment, the best practice is not to use your work email. Although most companies wouldn’t look into an employee’s inbox without suspicions, their explicit access rights are usually written into the IT policies and searching for other gainful employment could be grounds for termination.
What do Pros say?
Similarly, job search companies suggest not using a personal email for work at all. In fact, even if your workplace has no company email, they suggest creating your very own separate email for work. This will help keep you organized and also keep your personal and work life apart. There are several free online services for emails. Pick the one with features you like the most and try to use a professional name — coolstorybro@****.com is not a prime example of professional. Try something with your name or business, like b.smithingtondesign@****.com. This is will also ensure that your emails will be taken more seriously! Once you have your account set up, pass it on to your employer for company use.
As an employee, it is important to know what level of communication is appropriate and acceptable when using personal emails for business communication. Some companies are more okay with this usage than others, and it never hurts to check with IT or HR regarding usage questions or concerns. Company security and the sensitivity of information enclosed must be taken into account. On the business side, employers must recognize that email integration happens among employees. Take the proper actions and instill protocols that will protect the company from information sharing. Happy emailing!