Technology has totally changed way we live our lives, how we communicate, socialize and work. It has enabled people to do more, efficiently and often unhindered by the confines of the traditional brick and mortar perimeter. However, has technology made us happier? Are we better off? While it’s awesome to have a Skype conversation while you’re shopping, isn’t it a burden that you can’t switch off in the evening or on weekends because you received another stream of work emails?

Working longer hours is not something most employees gladly sign up for, but does it mean that they are then less happy at work? Not really. Surprisingly, working longer hours does not mean lower job satisfaction. Neither does being connected 24/7 have a hugely negative effect on employees’ life or working conditions, according to recent data on US employees in small businesses.

According to the survey by GFI Software, those who have worked remotely report longer work weeks, with 26 percent working 50 hours or more compared to only 10 percent of those who haven’t worked remotely. Despite that, 75 percent of remote workers say the ability to get their jobs done without coming in to the office has improved their lives.

In fact, overall, employees in small and medium businesses in the US (81 percent) are also satisfied with their job overall. This percentage is higher than the 68 percent of all full-time US employees surveyed in a Rutgers University Heidrich Center for Workforce Development study of January 2013.

So what is behind this positivity in the workplace? Why do three out of every four US small business employees feel that working remotely has improved their lives? When it comes to how we spend our time, quality matters more than quantity. And those who work from home – whether part or all of the time – reported that it makes it easier to achieve that much sought after but elusive work/life balance.

Working remotely may lead to an ‘out of the loop’ effect, resulting in employees feeling distanced from their colleagues and the office and even missing out on promotions or having to settle for lower pay. Yet, surprisingly, remote workers reported more satisfaction with their advancement opportunities and income than those who haven’t worked remotely. The survey also challenges the idea that most home workers are women in low-level clerical positions staying home with children: respondents who worked remotely were more likely to be well-educated men with high incomes.

Regardless of gender or position, it’s the rise of mobile devices that makes remote work possible and much easier. Although there’s a perception that tablets are taking over the world, more of the remote workers surveyed most often use laptops (52 percent) or smart phones (51 percent) than iPads and their counterparts (35 percent). Regardless of what they use to connect, a majority said they – not their employers – own the devices.

Remote work isn’t for everyone, though, as 25 percent see mobile computing as a development that makes it more difficult to escape work, while causing additional stress. And significant numbers report that, although they rarely work remotely, they do so on holidays (43 percent) and while on vacation (38 percent).

The survey highlights a number of interesting facts about their attitudes towards work and their use of technology and, of equal importance, their views of technology within a working environment.

While the majority of employees believe that mobile computing has improved their lives because they can work from anywhere, they are also concerned about privacy and data protection.

Six in 10 respondents would remove all their personal information from the Internet at the snap of a finger, if they could; and 87 percent admit they feel at least a little risk of becoming the victim of identity theft or another crime while using work computer systems.