Gender, job rank and level of a country’s technological maturity affected how people exploited mobile connectivity benefits at work

In a July 2022 survey of 8,227 mobile internet users over 18 years of age in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam on their views on the role of mobile devices, respondents flagged concerns that their employers were not allowing them to exploit the benefits of mobile connectivity to the fullest.

Respondents were evenly split by gender, ranging across four generations: Gen Z (Born 1997 – 2012); Millennials (Born 1981 – 1996); Gen X (Born 1965 – 1980); and Baby Boomers (Born 1946 – 1964).

The four observational findings of the report include:

    1. 54% of women respondents, compared to 46% of their male counterparts, indicated that their mobile devices connected them to better job and career opportunities. In Bangladesh, the Philippines, Vietnam and Pakistan, the female respondents were leading the way in using their mobile to find new ways of generating an income.
      • 61% of C-suite executives in the survey also indicated that mobile technology significantly improved their careers and skills development, as compared to employees at any other level (47% in the junior levels).
      • 60% of C-suite respondents indicated that productivity had improved by over 20% compared to 52% in lower-level executives.
      • 53% of the same group signaled more concerns than other employees (39% on average) about their skills becoming outdated in a fast-paced working environment.
    2. 69% of respondents believed that mobile connectivity was “very important” to the success of their organization, and 62% indicated there were untapped business opportunities that could be exploited with better developed mobile technology infrastructure.
      • 49% named a lack of skills and knowledge; 31% cited resistance to changing practices and habits; and 28% chose “unhelpful workplace policies” as key barriers to fully utilizing mobile connectivity at the workplace.
      • 62% indicated that learning and development was an area in which their employer could improve the use and application of mobile technology; while 54% also cited HR systems and processes as another area for improvement.
    3. 60% of respondents flagged privacy and security issues, while 40% cited lack of trust in technology, as the top concerns that prevented them from utilizing mobile technology for greater benefits at work. Only five percent of respondents believed that using their mobile device for work reduced their quality of life.
    4. 55% of respondents on average indicated that mobile devices had improved their personal productivity at work by more than 20%; 35% of Singapore respondents noted that same increase in productivity.
      • 90% of regional respondents, on average, felt that mobile devices had contributed positively to their skills development in the workplace, compared to 69% in Singapore respondents.
      • 20% of Singapore respondents felt that using their mobile devices for work improved quality of life — the lowest level compared to the rest of the region. Also, 11% of Singapore respondents indicated that mobile phones had reduced or significantly reduced their quality of life, compared to 5% of respondents in other regions.

According to Jørgen Rostrup, Head, Telenor Asia, which commissioned the survey: “We continue to see gaps in how (mobile connectivity) technology is used between urban and rural populations; large companies and small- and medium-sized enterprises; even between C-suite executives and their junior counterparts. In addition, respondents remained highly concerned about their skills and ability to keep pace with advancing technology. The aspect of trust is also preventing people from realizing their full potential through mobile use in the world of work. As time spent working online increases, the right tools and knowledge to close these gaps and improve digital work lives (need to be acquired).”