Mobile phones help balance work and family

How essential is your mobile phone?

Apparently a lot of Australians feel that they can’t do without their phones and the majority of Aussies feel that mobile phones have helped to balance their family and working lives.

A newly released study conducted by leading social researchers from Australian National University, the University of New England and the University of New South Wales found that only 3% of people reported that the mobile phone had a negative impact on their work-life balance.

The preliminary results of the three-year project found that the mobile phone is an indispensable part of the Australian life, with more than 90% of respondents reporting that their lives could not “proceed as normal” without their mobiles.

It seems that we like keeping in touch with family and friends via mobile technology. While many people would claim that their mobile phone is a work tool, the majority of calls from mobiles are to people outside of our working lives.

Among other key findings is that fact we feel a lot more secure with a mobile in our pocket or purse.

• Mobiles predominantly used for contacting family and friends.
• Half of employed respondents thought that mobiles increase their workload. This is offset by productivity gains with over half (55%) of employed respondents indicating that job-related mobile calls increase their productivity.
• Carrying a mobile phone makes most people (75%) feel more secure.
• Few respondents (4%) report that the mobile reduces the quality of their leisure time.

I don’t use my mobile phone a lot but I do feel a lot more comfortable being able to contact Pauline if I’m running late or if I have a major mechanical issue while I’m out cycling. If I had to give up my phone I’d still cope but it is nice to have it.

So what about you? Do you find your phone helps you to develop relationships? Do you feel safer having access to a phone? Does a mobile phone increase your productivity at work?

Posted by Rodney Olsen

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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist, blogger and podcaster from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

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  • Although I don’t use my mobile phone very much for calls, I do feel somewhat naked without it.

    It’s a safety net – both for me and my other half. Having our phones with us means we can get in touch instantly should we need to.

    I would say I have been more careful to take it with me since I have been commuting into London – I don’t know if that’s just the distance, or the terrorist attacks at the back of my mind.

  • My cell phone is my primary business phone because of the amount of travel involved in my business. The plus side is that my office is fairly mobile between the cell phone and a laptop. The down side is that I get calls from about 6:30 am until about 10:30 pm due to having customers in multiple time zones. To get away sometimes I just have to turn it off!

  • I’m the same as you…I don’t use mine alot (never have been much of a phone person) but I LOVE the fact that it keeps me connected to my son 24/7. Now that he’s got a car he’s gone often and he welcomes my calls to “say hi” (i.e. make sure he’s ok). It gives me peace of mind.

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