Smartphone reliance increases in flexible work environment, new research shows

Samsung Ireland research finds half of Irish adults unable to work without smartphone

Irish people are more reliant on their smartphones now than they were before the pandemic, new research has claimed, with almost half saying they could not work without their mobile devices in the flexible working environment.

The research, carried out by iReach on behalf of Samsung Ireland, also found that 76 per cent claim to rely on a stable wifi connection, a further indication of how working habits have changed in the past couple of years. The survey looks at how the pandemic has changed how we work, and examines attitudes towards productivity and behaviours while commuting.

Smartphones and laptops are the most important devices to consumers with 68 per cent of adults saying they were the most commonly used work devices, alongside stable wifi.

That facilitates the growing number of people who work on the go, with one in nine respondents to the survey saying they would be more likely to do so now than pre-pandemic. Some 56 per cent of survey respondents want to embrace a hybrid working model or have more flexible start times and days in the office.


“That’s feeding into the hybrid working model that many people have adopted,” said Paul Toland, head of MX sales at Samsung Ireland. “It is obviously continuing to evolve. It’s feeding into that new way of working and most of us have now incorporated, and people looking for flexibility and mobility with their technology.”

However, there was a split among the age groups, with 5 per cent of 18-24 year olds wanting to return to the office full-time, and 81 per cent keen on a hybrid model. Almost two thirds in that age group said they are more productive in the office, while a third said they check emails on their phone outside the office. In contrast, less than a third of 25-44 year olds said they were more productive in the office, with the preference to remain in a hybrid environment.

“In the 18-24 cohort, the assumption is they’re looking for more interaction in an office environment, probably looking for more support, more engagements,” Mr Toland said. “Whereas people in the slightly older cohort of 25 to 44, are possibly a little bit more established in their careers, possibly have, busier lives, possibly have family so having that flexibility really works for those people and enables them to get a better balance between their work and personal life.”

Samsung has been pitching a new range of mobile devices at hybrid workers, including its folding smartphones and the Z Fold 3, which doubles as a smartphone and a tablet.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist