By 2024, mobile workers (employees who use mobile devices like smartphones and tablets for work) will account for over 60% of the total U.S. workforce, according to research from IDC. A large percentage of the mobile workforce will continue to work from home even as the mandatory COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and closures are lifted.
With the increase of workers at home, and a large number of companies announcing hybrid work plans, employees are increasingly juggling work and personal life on a single device. Many are struggling to find the right balance between creating separation of work-life balance and maintaining privacy.
As researchers on the Android Enterprise team, we are always curious about the various needs and expectations of mobile employees who use their smartphones for both work and personal purposes. So we began a research project to understand the elements that comprise the ideal smartphone experience.
Our qualitative research shed light on the importance of work-life balance, privacy and wellbeing. We partnered with experience management firm Qualtrics to assess and quantify the qualitative findings through a study with more than 3,000 smartphone users around the world.
Managing work and personal life on a single smartphone
The study revealed that 68% of employees use one smartphone for both work and personal purposes, while 32% use two smartphones, though not always simply one for work and one for personal use. Looking across the two groups, 85% of employees use at least one smartphone for both work and personal use.
To get a bird’s-eye view on the needs of people who use a single smartphone for both work and personal use, the team surveyed both users of the Android work profile — a dedicated space on Android devices where work apps are kept separate from personal apps and data — and non-work profile users, including those on other mobile operating systems.