In a recent survey conducted by National Business Communications, it was found that an overwhelming 70 percent of office workers have utilized their smartphones for work purposes, despite nearly half of them acknowledging that this practice negatively affects their productivity.
The survey aimed to understand the thoughts and habits of office workers regarding mobile work.
While a significant majority had experienced working from their mobile devices despite its drawbacks, approximately 66 percent stated that they could only manage between one to seven hours of their workday through their phones.
Surprisingly, nearly one in four office workers claimed to be capable of completing at least two full working days per week using their mobile phones.
James Bolton, Operations Director at National Business Communications, expressed his intrigue over these findings, stating, “It’s extremely interesting that despite the clear negative impact working from your phone can cause, many people have still worked from their phone before. It’s completely dependent on each person’s role, requirements at work, and also personal preference.”
What deters office workers from mobile work?
The survey further delved into the factors that deter office workers from embracing mobile work. The primary reasons cited were a preference for using a larger screen (93.4%), followed by a general dislike for working from smartphones, as reported by over half of the respondents. Additionally, around 33 percent claimed that a lack of relevant smartphone apps needed to perform their job was a hindrance, while 19.7 percent stated that their employers would not approve of this practice.
Despite the challenges, respondents pointed out several advantages of mobile work, such as the convenience it offers, the ability to work from anywhere without relying on Wi-Fi, and the ease of staying connected. James Bolton remarked, “There are certainly benefits of working from your mobile – it’s extremely convenient for certain tasks such as sending emails, reading documents, and making calls. It’s also a positive given the shift of people working remotely or in hybrid roles – mobile phones really do allow us to easily work from anywhere.”
What about the drawbacks?
However, the survey also highlighted numerous drawbacks associated with mobile work, including its potential impact on work-life balance, the risk of increased distractions from messages and apps, and a potential lack of necessary tools and apps to complete work efficiently.
James further added, “Working from our personal mobile phones can certainly affect our work-life balance – it’s extremely easy for us to glance at our emails, even outside of working hours, or get caught up in notifications when we’re offline. It’s important to set boundaries. Other cons that came out of our survey included slower typing on phones and the absence of a large or second screen.”
The survey underscored the importance of considering various factors when working from a mobile phone, such as battery life, network coverage, data availability, ergonomics, and other potential limitations. While mobile work can offer flexibility and convenience, striking the right balance and addressing its downsides is essential to ensure optimal productivity and well-being for office workers.
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.