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.