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.
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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