At Work State of Mind – Key Findings

Key findings from the gyro @Work State of Mind study, linked here.

The @Work State of Mind has taken hold. The barriers between personal and work time have crumbled. Executives have to be prepared to make decisions anywhere and at any time. just 3% of the survey respondents said that they didn’t send or receive emails while on vacation. only 2% said that they never worked weekends or nights. More than half the respondents (52%) said they receive information related to business decisions round-the-clock, including weekends.

The @Work State of Mind reflects a new blending of work and personal time. Downtime no longer means total disengagement from work for an extended period. Those most at ease with the @Work State of Mind are those who feel most in control. They are good at separating work from personal time: only 15% of them said they are rarely or never able to do so, versus 24% of those who feel a lack of control. Since both groups spend similar amounts of time working on weekends, evenings, etc., this seems to be a matter of successful mental compartmentalization.

“Just as the boundaries of the physical world and digital worlds are blurring with the rapidly increasing penetration of smartphones, tablets, Facebook and location-based apps like Shopkick and Foursquare, so are the boundaries blurring between work and home,” says Nathan Estruth, VP, Procter & Gamble FutureWorks NDB. “Increasingly, work is no longer constrained by space or even by time of day, but rather by an individual’s personal preferences and state of mind at any given moment.”

Work—or personal space—is where you make it. Almost three in five respondents (59%) said that they made business decisions at home, while almost two in three (64%) said that they made decisions while traveling on business and an additional one in three (30%) said that they made business decisions while traveling with family. At the same time, 98% of respondents said that they dealt with personal matters in the office, with 41% saying that they spend more than 10% of their time doing so.

“With the growth of the Web and the introduction of high-speed data connections at home, it’s now possible to do most jobs from any location, including home,” says Rick Saletta, VP of marketing for Vitria Technology. “Problem is, that means we are always on and usually multi-tasking.”

Technological innovation has largely enabled the @Work state of Mind, but this new era has expanded rapidly because it is linked to professional advancement. More than two in five respondents (43%) said that technology had fueled the dismantling of barriers between work and personal time. About three in 10 respondents (28%) said that personal ambition was the reason, 15% said it was about creating efficiency, and 9% cited a desire to move ahead.

Many decision makers feel empowered by the @Work State of Mind. Asked how they feel when making a business decision, considering the stream and volume of information, 40% of respondents said they feel empowered and 44% feel well-prepared. But attitudes differ between U.S. and European executives toward the @Work state. European decision makers viewed the @Work condition more negatively than their American counterparts. Three in 10 European respondents (30%) said that they felt irritated by the blending of work and personal time, compared with 19% of Americans. U.K. respondents trended closer to U.S. than to other European decision makers.

Social networks are important for conducting business. About two in three respondents (67%) said that such work-related networks play a significant role in business, and 56% said that personal social networks influence their determinations. But business related networks are clearly more important than ones more focused on personal life. “Highly focused tablet/smartphone apps with closed social media built in will replace email,” says Warren N. Bimblick, senior vice president of strategy and business development for Penton Media.

Posted on April 16, 2012, in New World of Work. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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