With evolving bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trends and the prevalence of consumer mobility captured by the Mobile Mind Shift Index, the lines between personal and work mobility have blurred. I see this every day that I take the train to work, watching information workers seamlessly shift from Candy Crush Saga to their work email on their mobile devices.
For years, Forrester has measured consumers’ use of technology in their personal lives and their work through its Consumer and Business Technographics® surveys. This year, we began to address the intersection of these spheres, comparing a worker’s relative mobility at home with their mobility at work. Specifically, we analyzed the extent to which information workers across 10 countries use mobile devices at work and at home, leading to four segments based on their relative mobility in each sphere:
This analysis found that nearly one-third of global information workers fall into two segments: the Mobile-Compelled – high mobility at work but not in their personal life; and the Mobile-Ready – high mobility in their personal life but not at home. This highlights how mobility at home does not automatically translate to mobility at work.
In the early 1900s, author Kin Hubbard said, “A bee is never as busy as it seems; it’s just that it can’t buzz any slower.” A century later, things haven’t changed much — except that today, those bees are us and that buzzing comes from our mobile phones.
Survey data tells us that consumers regard their mobile phones as catalysts for productivity. Considering the amount of time consumers spend using the device and how essential they characterize the technology to be, it’s easy to take their word for it. But not so fast: Mobile tracking metrics show that consumers rarely ever conduct productivity-related tasks on their devices. In fact, the official US productivity rate has dropped to its lowest point in the past two decades.
In this case, the conflicting data points are not wrong, they are complementary — and the resulting insight is even more valuable than the sum of its parts. A combination of Forrester’s Consumer Technographics® data, mobile tracking numbers, and ConsumerVoices output reveals that consumers engage far less frequently in productive behaviors than expected — and suggests a new understanding of what “mobile productivity” really means.