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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.

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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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