Workers feel ‘mobile guilt’ over both personal and work calls

Taking work calls at home and personal calls at work both cause anxiety for Gen M workers.

More than half of ‘Gen M’ workers are concerned about both the number of work calls they take at home and personal calls they take at work, according to research conducted by MobileIron.

The poll of 3,500 full and part-time professionals identifies a group of workers described as Generation Mobile. These are defined as either men aged between 18 and 34-years-old or those who have children under 18 at home.

The research reveals that 82% of these perform at least one personal task on a mobile at work per day. This is compared to 72% of those outside of the demographic.

Around two-thirds (62%) of Gen M professionals also perform at least one work action on their mobile outside of work hours per day. For other groups this figure is only 54%.

This heightened activity leads to increased “mobile guilt”, according to the report. Fewer than half (47%) of non-Gen M workers feel guilt about engaging with work communications during personal hours – compared to 61% of Gen M.

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Similarly 58% of Gen M feel guilty about personal communications on a mobile device at work. For non-Gen M employees this is as low as 46%.

MobileIron CEO Bob Tinker said the mobile is “fundamentally changing how we work and live“.

“The Gen M Study, to us, reflects the emerging, connected culture of modern business,“ he added.

“Forward-thinking companies embrace this change and understand that mobile is as much an HR program as a technology initiative. To recruit and retain the best and brightest employees, companies must establish policies that are aligned with the way employees want to work and live.”

The research also looks at the potential impact of wearable technology on working practices. Around four in ten (42%) of Gen M members polled said they intended to purchase at least one item of wearable technology (such as the Apple Watch).

Of those, almost all (95%) said they planned to use those devices at work. The most popular tasks include taking phone calls (58%) reading email (56%) and accessing a calendar (40%).

Tinker said that wearable tech devices “are expected to be very popular“. But he warned this will bring its own challenges.

“These wearables will increase our connectedness and, likely, our guilt about mixing work into our personal lives and personal tasks into our work days,“ he added.

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Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for from 2016 to 2018.

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