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Work From Phone: 24 million Brits spend 12 hours a week doing their job on their mobile phone as tech improves

  • 24 million employees spend 12 hours a week working on their mobile phones on average - nearly double the time spent using paper and pen[1][2]

  • A quarter (24%) use their mobile to make video calls, almost a fifth (17%) dial into meetings, while half (50%) answer emails and one in seven (14%) work with spreadsheets[3]

  • 15 million consumers now have a 5G phone - with more than eight million bought since the start of the pandemic - and two million rely on a 5G connection for work[4][5]

  • Younger people (18-34) are the most likely to ‘work from phone’, spending an hour and 42 minutes a day sending emails, working on docs and doing video calls, compared to just 30 minutes for over-55s[6]

  • Seven in ten people (70%) have at least one work-based app downloaded on their phone, including Slack, Zoom and Teams[7]

  • Uswitch.com urges owners of 5G phones to check their provider’s coverage map and offers tips on how to find out the strength of 5G in your area

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, the comparison and switching service[1][2].

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[3]. 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[3].

Over 15 million consumers now own a 5G phone, capable of connecting to much faster speeds when not on Wi-Fi, and more than eight million people say they have bought one since the start of the coronavirus pandemic[4]. With more people relying on technology to carry out their work, two million Brits say they now depend on their 5G connection for work[5].

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[6]. That’s compared to the mere 30 minutes a day that over-55s typically spend working from their phone[6]. 

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[8].

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[7].

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[9].

Uswitch.com is offering advice to consumers on how to find out how good the 5G connection is in your area, if you’re thinking about how to access these speeds when working from your phone. 

Ru Bhikha, mobiles expert at Uswitch.com, comments: “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.”

To find out more about how good the 5G connection is in your area, see our helpful guide here.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Izzy Green
Phone: 07913 954048
Email: isabel.green@rvu.co.uk
Twitter: @UswitchPR

Notes to editors:
Opinium surveyed a sample of 2,000 UK adults from the 5th to 9th November 2021. Results were weighted to reflect a nationally representative criteria.
1. Respondents were asked ‘when using your mobile phone for work, which of the following do you use it for?’, 43.1% of people say that they work from their mobile phone. 43.1% of the UK adult population of 55.4 million = 23,877,400 people
2. Respondents were asked ‘how much of your average working day do you rely on each of the following to do your job?’, the average amount spent ‘making phone calls’ is 1.2 hours and the average amount spent ‘doing other work (emails/video calls/working on documents/spreadsheets etc)’ is 1.2 hours. 2.4 hours is 144 minutes. 144 minutes x 5 working days per week is 720 minutes or 12 hours. The average amount spent using ‘paper and pen’ per day is 1.6 hours or 96 minutes. 96 minutes x 5 working days per week is 480 minutes or 8 hours.
3. Respondents were asked ‘when using your mobile phone for work, which of the following do you use it for? Please select all that apply’, 24% said ‘I make video calls’, 17% said ‘I dial into meetings by video’, 50% said ‘I check and/or send emails’ and 14% said ‘I work on spreadsheets’.
4. Respondents were asked ‘what brand of mobile phone do you have?’, 1,958 say that they have a mobile phone, which is 97.9% of UK adults. 97.9% of the UK adult population of 55.4 million = 54,236,600 people who have a mobile. Mobile users were then asked ‘does your mobile have 5G capabilities?’, 29% of people said that they have a 5G phone. 29% of 54,236,600 mobile users = 15,728,613 people with a 5G phone. 15% of people responded to the question with ‘yes - I have a 5G phone which I have bought since the start of the pandemic’, 15 of 54,236,600 mobile users = 8,135,490.
5. Respondents were asked ‘which, if any, of the following statements do you agree with?’, the base sample of this question was people who work. 60.6% of respondents to the survey said that they work. 60.6% of 55.4 million UK adults = 33,572,400. 8% of workers agreed with the statement ‘I rely on 5G mobile data during my working day’. 8% of 33,572,400 = 2,685,792 people who rely on 5G during their working day.
6. Respondents were asked ‘how much of your average working day do you rely on each of the following to do your job?’, those aged 18 to 34 spent 1.7 hours, or 1 hour and 42 minutes, ‘doing other work (emails/video calls/working on documents/spreadsheets etc)’, compared to 0.5 hours, or 30 minutes, for those aged 55 and over.
7. Respondents were asked ‘do you have any work-based applications on your smartphone, if so which? Please select all that apply’, 70% of people responded that they did have a work-based application on their smartphone.
8. Respondents were asked ‘which, if any, of the following statements do you agree with?’, 15% of people said ‘I have used my smartphone for work purposes more since the start of the coronavirus pandemic’.
9. Respondents were asked ‘how much of your average working day do you rely on each of the following to do your job?’, the average amount spent ‘making phone calls’ by Apple users is 1.3 hours (78 minutes) and 1.1 hours (66 minutes) by Samsung users. The average amount spent ‘doing other work (emails/video calls/working on documents/spreadsheets etc)’ by Apple users is 1.3 hours (78 minutes) and 1.1 hours (66 minutes) by Samsung users. Together that means Apple users spend 156 minutes a day working on their device, compared to 132 minutes for Samsung users.

About Uswitch - saving you money for 20 years

Uswitch is the UK’s top comparison website for home services switching. We’ve saved consumers £2.5 billion off their energy bills since we launched in September 2000, and also help people find a better deal on their broadband, mobile and TV.

Uswitch is part of RVU, a global group of online brands with a mission to empower consumers to make more confident home services, insurance and financial decisions.