Some 91 percent of mobile workers admitted in iPass surveys that they checked their smart phones during their otherwise unoccupied moments of the day. The latest iPass survey found that some 38 percent of mobile workers use their mobile devices to check their email the first thing in the morning, before their commute, 25 percent worked during their commute, and 22 percent worked again on the way home, each and every day.

In fact, for many, work is a never-ending cycle. About 37 percent report they work each evening. Some 33 percent work again when they arrived home, 26 percent after dinner, and 19 percent said they work again after they put their children to bed at night.

About 49 percent said they would work in the middle of the night when they were unable to sleep, at least on an occasional basis. The largest percentage recorded was in the category “work before my commute to the office,” with 62 percent responding that they did so at least one to two  times per week.

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When people use mobiles for work purposes

Daily

3-4 times

per week

1-2 times

per week

Occasionally

Never

Before my commute to the office 38.3% 8.8% 14.5% 23.9% 10.4%
During my commute to work 24.7% 7.0% 10.2% 25.0% 26.8%
During my lunch hour 36.6% 16.7% 12.9% 22.4% 7.5%
During my commute home 21.6% 6.5% 11.7% 26.0% 27.2%
After my commute home 32.6% 16.8% 15.6% 25.0% 4.8%
After dinner, before bed 26.0% 15.6% 16.7% 30.0% 7.6%
After my child/children go to sleep 18.8% 11.1% 10.6% 22.7% 22.8%
In the middle of the night/ when I can’t sleep 8.3% 2.2% 5.8% 32.9% 43.1%
When I am waiting for something (doctor’s office, errand, waiting for a child, etc.) 18.3% 6.8% 9.6% 48.1% 12.4%

Some 37 percent of survey respondents also report they worked during lunch every day, 66 percent at least once or twice per week. Not surprisingly, workers in North America were the most likely to work through their lunch hours.

Some 45 percent of mobile workers in North America connected to technology during lunch every day. This trend was slightly lower in other geographies. Just a third (33 percent) in Europe worked during lunch every day and 31 percent of those in Asia Pacific.

When devices are used

Asia Pacific

Europe

North America

Before my commute to the office

Daily 37.1% 35.0% 44.3%
3-4 times per week 9.1% 9.0% 9.6%
1-2 times per week 15.6% 16.2% 13.7%
Occasionally 27.1% 27.9% 21.8%
Never 11.2% 12.0% 10.6%

During my commute to work

Daily 26.7% 28.2% 23.3%
3-4 times per week 7.0% 8.2% 6.7%
1-2 times per week 11.4% 10.1% 11.1%
Occasionally 31.7% 25.6% 26.5%
Never 23.2% 27.9% 32.4%

During my lunch hour

Daily 31.2% 32.9% 45.2%
3-4 times per week 13.0% 15.7% 20.1%
1-2 times per week 15.3% 14.8% 11.7%
Occasionally 30.6% 25.6% 19.0%
Never 9.9% 12.0% 3.9%

During my commute home

Daily 18.8% 23.8% 23.1%
3-4 times per week 6.6% 8.6% 5.5%
1-2 times per week 11.3% 13.0% 12.3%
Occasionally 37.3% 26.9% 26.1%
Never 26.0% 27.7% 33.0%

After my commute home

Daily 32.1% 30.3% 38.0%
3-4 times per week 17.6% 18.4% 16.6%
1-2 times per week 17.1% 18.4% 14.8%
Occasionally 29.1% 27.4% 25.5%
Never 4.1% 5.5% 5.1%

After dinner, before bed

Daily 26.3% 22.6% 30.4%
3-4 times per week 18.8% 15.7% 16.3%
1-2 times per week 16.5% 18.3% 16.7%
Occasionally 31.2% 34.4% 29.5%
Never 7.2% 9.0% 7.1%

After my child/children go to sleep

Daily 21.1% 19.6% 23.3%
3-4 times per week 14.3% 13.0% 12.7%
1-2 times per week 10.9% 11.5% 12.1%
Occasionally 26.1% 28.3% 25.4%
Never 27.6% 27.7% 26.5%

In the middle of the night/ when I can’t sleep

Daily 10.1% 6.6% 10.2%
3-4 times per week 3.3% 2.3% 2.3%
1-2 times per week 9.5% 4.6% 6.3%
Occasionally 36.8% 30.5% 39.0%
Never 40.4% 56.0% 42.2%

When I am waiting for something (doctor’s office, errand, waiting for a child, etc.)

Daily 18.3% 13.6% 22.7%
3-4 times per week 5.8% 6.1% 7.8%
1-2 times per week 13.3% 9.2% 9.7%
Occasionally 44.6% 51.0% 49.0%
Never 18.0% 13.8% 10.8%

Mobile workers are not only shifting their work periods to different times of day, they are also working from a variety of different locations. The most common place outside the office is the homes, with 47 percent working from home daily and 99 percent at least occasionally.

But these mobile workers do get out from time to time. 88 percent worked from the road; 84 percent from a coffee shop, restaurant or bar; and 77 percent worked outside using a city-mesh Wi-Fi at least on an occasional basis.

It is interesting to note that 72 percent of the 3,100 respondents said that they used a mobile device on a daily basis within the office. Whether it’s in the cafeteria, in a conference room waiting for a meeting to begin, or even texting while walking between buildings, the days of the worker tethered to a desk in a cubicle or an office are long behind us.

Some 75 percent of respondents worked more hours because of the increased flexibility in when and where they could work. More than half (55 percent) were working at least 10 or more additional hours each week.

But some were working significantly longer. About 12 percent were working 20 or more additional hours each week as a result of the freedom to choose when and where to work.

In addition to working more hours, these mobile workers also felt more productive when their schedules were flexible. Some 54 percent said that their productivity was substantially improved and an additional 24 percent stated they were marginally more productive. Only three percent felt that the additional flexibility in work times and locations decreased their productivity.

Smart phones have reached close to 100 percent penetration among mobile workers. Across the generations, 96 percent of mobile workers under the age of 45 have a smartphone and 91 percent of those over the age of 55. Relatively new on the market, tablets continue to be the big story of 2011. Currently, 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. Taken together, we expect to see 75 percent of mobile workers with a tablet this fall.

Among tablet-owning mobile workers, iPads dominate with 72 percent of the current marketshare in this study. It looks like this will remain the case this year with 63 percent of mobile employees indicating that they plan to purchase or receive an iPad 2 in the next six months, bringing the potential future marketshare for iPads to 71 percent of tablet-carrying mobile workers.

Not only did workers feel more productive, their efficiency improved as well. 78 percent believed they worked more efficiently if they could choose the time and locations for work. It is amazing how much can be accomplished without the continual interruptions and frequent meetings that plague us when we are working in a traditional office environment.

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