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Millennial Minded

Guess what's got the tech generation feeling guilty

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My cell phone skips around my cubicle's desk as it does its usual text-receiving vibration dance.

I pick it up. The text reads: “I will call in 5 min.”

… The part of the story I left out was the apprehensive, darting glances I did before peaking at my phone.

I couldn’t help it. There’s a sincere, however minor, anxiety involved with the perception of tinkering around on my phone in the workplace.

That’s true even when, like in this case (a source informing me of a slight delay in a scheduled phone interview), that tinkering involves work.

Apparently I’m not alone.

California-based MobileIron asked more than 3,500 professionals who use a mobile device for work how they felt about mixing their work and personal lives through mobile technologies.

The survey found that a feeling of guilt is experienced by 58 percent of workers that rely heavily on mobile for both their job and their personal lives.

This millennial-aged group of workers, which MobileIron refers to as “Gen M,” does more than a quarter of its work on smartphones or tablets.

Click here to read more from our Millennial Minded

Where the guilt derives from is “shadow tasking,” which is doing personal tasks during work hours. More than 80 percent of Gen M does at least one personal task on mobile per day during work hours, compared to 72 percent of non-Gen M professionals.

But there shouldn’t be much need for guilt when considering that 64 percent of Gen M does at least one work task on mobile per day during personal hours, compared to 54 percent of non-Gen M professionals.

Count me in the more than half of millennial-aged workers, according to the survey, that check or send work-related emails outside the 9-5.

Perhaps, then, I shouldn’t feel as guilty when my phone buzzes inside my cubicle and it’s less work-related and more cat-related.

More information about the survey can be found here.

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Write to the Editorial Department at editorial@njbiz.com

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