Charts: How Work Email Has Taken Over Our Personal Lives

And what smart CEOs can do about it.


It’s dinnertime, and you know it’s just wrong to be checking your email. Your spouse and kids are giving you the stink-eye. But it’ll just take a minute. One minute. Seriously. There’s just this super-quick thing from the boss that you’ve gotta deal with.

American workers, especially white-collar workers, are becoming an army of smartphone addicts, and we beat ourselves up even as we indulge in the rudest of modern habits. But we’re not entirely to blame for our weakness, as Clive Thompson reports in the latest issue of Mother Jones. Much of the encroachment of technology into our lives is driven by work, and workplace demands are escalating as a direct result of the so-called convenience that Steve Jobs has placed in our pockets. As Thompson notes in his must-read essay, “You could view off-hours email as one of the growing labor issues of our time.” So here are a few stats that outline the issue, and one that suggests how smart companies might help address it.

Image: check work email
Image: grand canyon
Image: email icons
Image: cell phones earth
image: 75 thousand salary
image: take home work
Image: clocks
Image: sunset


The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.