Gen M, the global generation of hyper-connected workers is bringing a new set of preferences and worries to the workplace, according to a MobileIron study of more than 3,500 full- or part-time workers who use a mobile device for work.
On average, Gen M workers do 26 percent of their work on smartphones or tablets and use mobile for “shadow tasking,” or blending personal and work activities throughout the day, the survey found.
In addition, 82 percent of Gen M does at least one personal task a day on mobile during work hours, and 64 percent does at least one work task a day on mobile during personal hours.
However, 61 percent of Gen M suffers from mobile guilt when receiving work communications during personal hours, and 58 percent suffers from mobile guilt when receiving personal communications during work hours.
"Mobile devices are a lifeline for Gen M. We’ve heard about mobile extending the workday, but for Gen M, mobile extends the personal day, too," Ojas Rege, MobileIron’s vice president of strategy, told eWEEK. "Mixing their work and personal lives is so important to them that 60 percent would leave their job if their company didn’t let them work remotely or use their mobile device to do personal tasks at work."
In addition to the nearly two-thirds of respondents that said they would leave their job if their employer did not allow remote work or restricted their ability to complete personal tasks on the job, 29 percent said they would leave their job if their employer could access personal emails, texts, photos, or videos on their smartphones or tablets.
Gen M employees shadow task extensively across the globe, even those in countries with regulated working hours, like France and Germany.
Japanese employees are the least likely to do mobile work during personal hours, while American and Spanish employees are the most likely, the survey found. Spanish workers are the most likely to do mobile work while eating, watching TV, lying in bed, or using the toilet.
American and Spanish workers are more likely than those in other countries to use a mobile device for work while using the toilet, according to survey results. Japanese and German workers are least likely, and French employees are the most likely to do mobile work while driving.
Smart watches and other wearables will increase connectedness and, likely, guilt, for this demographic, as 42 percent of Gen M respondents either own or plan to purchase a wearable device, such as the Apple Watch.
Of those, more than 95 percent plan to use it for work tasks, including taking phone calls (58 percent); reading email (56 percent); writing email (45 percent); getting alerts, such as meeting reminders (44 percent); accessing their calendar (40 percent); reading documents (37 percent), and surfing company intranets (30 percent).
"People feel guilty because they feel they are doing something wrong. And they think they are the only ones doing it. But guess what? They are not alone," Rege said. "Our data shows that everybody is mixing work and personal using mobile. We are hoping that by getting this information out there, companies will wake up and catch up to this Gen M work style. To attract and retain the best and brightest employees, companies have to take this seriously."