Unlike Most Workers, Working At Home Via iPhone Or iPad Improves The Work/Life Balance Of IT Pros

Unlike Most Workers, Working At Home Via iPhone Or iPad Improves The Work/Life Balance Of IT Pros

The iPhone and iPad are top mobile tools for IT pros and help them maintain work/life balance.

A handful of studies recently have looked at the impact of the iPhone, iPad, and other mobile devices used for both work and personal pursuits is having on the work/life balance for professionals across a range of industries. One recent study showed mobile devices have contributed to the average American working seven hours each week, the equivalent of a full work day, out of the office and after hours. Another pointed how that many of us will work while on vacation thanks to our mobile devices.

For one segment of the workforce, however, iPhones, iPads, and Android devices and their ubiquitous connectivity have actually improved the work/life balance. That group is salaried IT professionals.

IT management company Solarwinds recently surveyed nearly two hundred IT professionals working in both the public and private sectors about their mobile device use. It discovered that every one of them used at least one mobile device for work, which isn’t really that surprising. The bigger story, however, is that rather than taking personal and family time away from IT professionals, it actually helped them save time.

The survey found that about half of IT professionals spent 6 – 15 hours per week working outside normal business hours. Virtually all (95%) said that they spend that time troubleshooting and resolving issues remotely using a range of mobile devices and remote access technologies. 55% reported working from home and 40% reported working from another out-of-office location.

The flexibility mobile technologies offers IT folks has apparently paid off for both them and their employers. Just over three-quarters (77%) said remote access saved the time and boosted overall productivity. Most (62%) reported saving about five hours per week. A much smaller number (4%) said they saved ten or more hours.

One factor in that time savings is almost certainly travel to the office or a worksite. That also likely contributes to a greater work/life balance because that travel time can be spent with family, friends, and doing enjoyable non-work activities. Another may be working in an environment that is more distraction-free than in an office where they can focus on just a single task or two at one time.

The study also noted that while all IT professionals reported using at least one mobile device for work, half reported using two.

It also found that iPhone was the most popular mobile device used for work among those surveyed followed by the iPad, Android running on a mobile phone, the BlackBerry, and Android running on a tablet.

  • Laga Mahesa

    I can testify to this. I do remote network management, web administration and even desktop assistance via VNC on my iPhone, though if I anticipate more clickage I’ll use the iPad.

    Nothing needs to be unpacked, plugged in or otherwise set up. I don’t need to go to an internet cafe or other WIFI zone. With zero travel and setup time, most of these remote tasks take a minute or so to accomplish on the iPhone – everyone is happier for it, and I get a +1 bonus to my wizard aura.

  • RamonBarca

    Mobile tech, I think, is the reason behind the prevalence of work-at-home we are seeing today. I work for an IT company, I also in a work-from-home environment. And I wholly agree, telecommuting has indeed helped me improve my work/life balance as a whole.

    As for additional tips, let me share this. Its about the tools to use if you want to be more productive working remotely: http://www.slideshare.net/cloydwaldo/tools-for-telecommuting-14100988

About the author

Ryan FaasRyan Faas is a technology journalist and consultant living in upstate New York who has written extensively about Apple, business and enterprise IT, and the mobile industry. In addition to writing for Cult of Mac, he is a contributor to Computerworld, InformIT, and Peachpit Press. In a previous existence he was a healthcare IT director as well as a systems and network administrator. Follow Ryan on Twitter and Google +

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