24 million Brits working from their smartphone

5G, Work

Nearly 24 million workers are spending an average of 12 hours per week doing their job from their smartphone as technology improves – nearly double the time spent using pen and paper – according to new research by Uswitch.com.

A quarter of people (24%) rely on their mobile phone to make video calls, while close to a fifth (17%) are using it to dial into meetings. A further half of workers (50%) use their mobile device to answer emails and one in seven (14%) are even using their phone to work on spreadsheets.

Over 15 million consumers now own a 5G phone, capable of connecting to much faster speeds when not on WiFi, and more than eight million people say they have bought one since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. With more people relying on technology to carry out their work, two million Brits say they now depend on their 5G connection for work.

Young people aged 18 to 34 are the most likely to ‘work from phone’, with the average young worker spending an hour and 42 minutes a day sending emails, working on docs and doing video calls. That’s compared to the mere 30 minutes a day that over-55s typically spend working from their phone. 

Close to a sixth of workers report an increase in time spent working from smartphones since the start of the pandemic, as more people have regularly worked from home.

Seven in ten Brits (70%) report that they have at least one work-based app on their phone, including apps used for video calls, emails, communications, documents and networking, among others.

iPhone users are also most likely to ‘work from phone’, spending 156 minutes a day working on their device, compared to 132 minutes for Samsung fans.

Says Ru Bhikha, mobiles expert at Uswitch.com:

 “The way we use our smartphones has fundamentally changed in the last two years, and it’s unlikely to go back to business as usual any time soon.

“Phones are now used for much more than calling friends and family, they are an extension of our office set-up and millions of people are using them to dial into calls, send emails and work on documents, spreadsheets and presentations.

“The benefits of 5G are steadily becoming more apparent for many mobile users, who might have noticed an improvement in their service as the mobile infrastructure is improved. With well over 15 million people investing in a 5G-ready handset, it is clear that consumers are ready and keen to access these faster speeds.

“Accessing 5G might not be straightforward for some users, who face difficulties getting these speeds indoors, or out and about in their area. 5G coverage varies between providers in different cities, so it’s worth checking the coverage maps of each network provider if you’re thinking about making a switch to 5G.”

Chris Price
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