19 December 2017
Wi-Fi’s importance to productivity is the biggest reason why mobile workers feel so lost without it, according to new research from iPass.
For its recently released Mobile Professional Report 2017, the global connectivity provider interviewed 1,700 mobile professionals across various age groups from Europe and North America.
Nearly two thirds revealed that they feel “anxious” when not connected to Wi-Fi. Of those, 31 per cent said it was because they would find it more difficult to work remotely.
The study showed that mobile workers use Wi-Fi and cellular data very differently. Whether due to mobile performance issues, data restrictions, or reliability, iPass says Wi-Fi is still the “dominant force” in connectivity, particularly for data-intensive tasks such as video conferencing.
Ninety per cent said that they regularly stream multimedia content over Wi-Fi, versus just 34 per cent who do so over a cellular connection. Even lower-bandwidth internet tasks such as accessing cloud services and internet browsing were roughly twice as popular over Wi-Fi.
Because of this reliance, the average mobile professional connects to eight public Wi-Fi hotspots each week, while a fifth connect to them 20 times a week or more. Half of respondents said that they wanted to be instantly connected to Wi-Fi on arrival at a hotel (50 per cent), business meeting (53 per cent), or airport (48 per cent). However, 68 per cent said they had decided against using a Wi-Fi service because the registration process was overly time consuming or frustrating
The study also confirmed that people are addicted to Wi-Fi as part of their personal lives as well as for business. In fact, iPass found that people are so dependent on their smartphones that they will break social etiquette to use them – 72 per cent of respondents admitted to checking their devices from the toilet, 11 per cent during a funeral, and seven per cent during sex.