Google study finds that home-working is blurring work-life boundaries

Steve Johnson / Unsplash
(Image credit: Steve Johnson / Unsplash)

Two-thirds of employees use one camera phone for both work and personal purposes, according to a Google-led study. Additionally, the study also found that an increase in home-working has led to a blurring of employees' work and home camera phone use and hence work-life boundaries.

Nearly 68% of those surveyed said they use one camera phone or phablet for both work and personal purposes. Of those, 81% of work profile users (i.e. those who created different profiles for work and personal use on the same device) said they were satisfied with their experience of managing work and personal life on the same device, compared to 71% of non-work profile users.

• Read more: Best camera phones

Of those surveyed, 70% said they would prefer a user interface (UI) on their phones that clearly separates work and personal apps and data, over a UI with no separation.

The study, conducted with experience management firm Qualtrics, noted that, "Users mentioned that a clear delineation between work and personal apps and data can help them improve digital wellbeing and balance between their personal lives and their work.” 

Google's findings follow a recent study that found that Samsung Galaxy customers were happier than iPhone users.

"With the increase of workers at home, and a large number of companies announcing hybrid work plans, employees are increasingly juggling work and personal life on a single device. Many are struggling to find the right balance between creating separation of work-life balance and maintaining privacy," Google said.

When there is a distinct separation between work and personal apps, people are more conscious about their data and the boundaries they can and cannot cross.

According to Business Insider, work profile users were more aware than non-work profile users that the data linked to their work account can be seen by their company and were more satisfied that their work data can be kept secure. As a result they were significantly more satisfied with their work-life balance compared to non-work profile users. 

Even the best budget camera phones allow users to create multiple user profiles, which can help to separate data used through work and personal apps.

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Laurence McJannet

Laurence is an NCTJ-trained journalist with nearly 20 years' editorial experience gained on a wide range of publications, from The Beirut Times in Lebanon to The Sunday Times, and including recent freelance engagements with Future's cycling and automotive portfolios, Outdoor Fitness, and The English Home. He has recently been undertaking a sports broadcast journalism MA at Southampton Solent, gaining valuable TV and radio experience, and am currently videographer for Frome Town FC soccer team. He is the author of Bikepacking (Wild Things Publishing, 2016).