Poll: Mobile workers sleep with phone, check overnight

New report from iPass finds that more than half of employees polled who sleep with their smartphones wake up at least sometimes during the night to check their messages.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Some 61 percent of mobile workers sleep with their smartphones, with many of them waking up during the night to check them, according to a report released yesterday by mobile services provider iPass.

Based on a survey of more than 3,700 mobile employees from more than 1,000 companies, the iPass Global Mobile Workforce Report (PDF) found that downtime may be a thing of the past. More workers (91 percent) are using their free time, both day and night, to check their smartphones. Among those, almost 30 percent check their smartphones three to five times an hour, and 20 percent check them five to ten times an hour.


By mobile worker, iPass is referring to anyone who works outside of the office at least part or some of the time, whether they're traveling or working from home or telecommuting, as opposed to someone who works solely in the office every day.

Looking at the workers who sleep with their smartphones, 58 percent wake up at least occasionally during the night to check them, while 11 percent said they wake up every single night to check them. Among all the workers who sleep with their smartphones, 35 percent also check their e-mail first thing in the morning before getting dressed or eating breakfast.

And though employers may appreciate such hard-working employees, the obsessive need to check one's smartphone can take its toll.

The survey found that 29 percent of mobile workers said their need to check their smartphones has created friction with a spouse or partner. And those who keep their phones tucked in bed beside them at night were 65 percent more likely to obsessively check it during their overall free time.

But iPass puts a more positive spin on such obsession, at least when it comes to making employees and companies more competitive.

"Mobile employees are taking advantage of being connected 24/7 to help them be more productive at home and work--working an average of 240 hours more a year," Steven Wastie, senior vice president of marketing and product management at iPass, said in a statement. "While for some this is not without relationship costs, the majority of mobile workers are highly responsive and ready to be engaged outside of traditional office hours. Mobile technology helps their companies stay competitive in a fast-paced and challenging business environment."

iPass' Mobile Workforce Report was based on a survey conducted between April 1 and April 15 of more than 3,700 mobile workers at over 1,100 companies around the world.