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Survey Finds Mobile Devices Boost Employee Productivity But Hurt Relationships

May 26, 2011

REDWOOD SHORES, CA – iPass Inc., a provider of mobile enterprise services, published its quarterly Mobile Workforce Report, which provides statistics about the productivity of employees who work remotely and use mobile devices for work.

In the fleet industry, company drivers and employees using company vehicles (salespeople, for example) are, by nature, part of the mobile workforce, so the statistics in this report provide insights into the work environment for these employees.

The report surveyed more than 3,700 mobile employees at 1,100 enterprises worldwide between April 1 and April 15, 2011. It found more than 61 percent of mobile workers sleep with their smartphone nearby, 43 percent within arm’s reach.

When these employees have downtime, 91 percent of them check their smartphone every six to 12 minutes. The report also found that 38 percent of mobile workers wake up to check their mobile device during the night, and 35 percent check email on their device first thing in the morning – even before getting dressed or eating breakfast. The survey also found that the average mobile worker works 240 hours a year longer than the general population.

The downside to this connected lifestyle is that 29 percent of mobile workers report that their mobile technology usage causes friction in their personal relationships, typically with a spouse or partner, according to the report. 

Other statistics in the report include the following:

  • 94 percent of mobile workers have a smartphone.
  • 41 percent of mobile workers have a tablet, and an additional 34 percent of mobile workers intend to purchase a tablet in the next six months.
  • 87 percent of mobile workers that own tablets use their tablets for at least some work.
  • Among tablet owners, 27 percent have a tablet provided by their workplace and 73 percent have a personally owned tablet.

The iPass Mobile Workforce Report can be found at

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Richard Catino was the U.S. fleet manager for Digital Equipment Corp. in Maynard, MA.

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