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Majority says smart phones are affecting the way they work

Two-thirds of respondents to this week’s RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll say smart phones are changing the way they work—with more than one-third of those selecting “very much” to describe the change.

The research firm IDC recently predicted that in 2011 the latest wave in technology, led by smart phones, will start to take over the market. The firm said an estimated 330 million smart phones will be sold worldwide next year, and within 18 months non-PC devices capable of running software applications will outsell PCs.

In a separate report, the Nielsen Co. said smart phones already account for 30 percent of all mobile phones in the United States. As with a number of new technologies, many early adopters have been business users.

Some 22 percent of readers who responded said they do not have a smart phone.

More than 340 readers participated in this week’s poll, which was conducted Dec. 27 and 28.

Is smart phone technology changing how you work?
Very much: 36%
Somewhat: 30%
Not very much: 10%
Not at all: 7%
I do not use a smart phone for work: 17%

What kind of smart phone do you use?
BlackBerry: 32%
Android: 24%
iPhone: 18%
Other: 4%
I do not have a smart phone: 22%

Here are some comments from readers:

Hey, it changes your life. The electronic leash dictates you answer right away, answer every call, e-mail, text. Gives you less free time. It sucks. I want to turn the thing off and go back to the Pony Express.
—Jim Duke, Victor

It’s great when I need some time to think and have peace and quiet; I can bring my whole office via BlackBerry to the bathroom to get things done. Couldn’t do that before.
—Jim Ehmann, ProMotivations by Design Inc.

It seems as if many are getting totally dependent on their smart phones for all their communications, personal data management and Internet access. Smart phones can become a "single point of failure," where losing it or having it damaged will cause great personal trauma. Not my choice of stress.
—Frank Muscato

Personally my smart phone changes the way I work by seamlessly integrating with social media platforms. In our company, we attend many trade shows, and smart phones allow show attendees to engage in social media, real-time on the show floor.
—Megan Alchowiak, brand specialist, Mirror Show Management

Smart phones make it impossible for me now not to take work home with me. I answer every e-mail in real time. It is a blessing as much as it is a curse.
—Erin Shannon, SWBR Architects

If smart phone technology isn’t changing the way that you work, then you probably are or will be out of work.
—Bill Lang Jr., Webster

I hear many people bemoan the fact that work e-mail and desktops are available everywhere now. In my opinion, this just gives us more options. It allows us to be more productive although spending less time at work. Less time at work is a good thing!
—Joe Fabetes, Rochester

Smart phones are a blessing and a curse, raising expectations even further that we are "always on" and that response times should be measured in minutes rather than hours. Productivity is up because I can use my time more wisely and be more connected to what is happening. And the need for downtime is up, so that I can recharge and be effective when I am "on."
—Dave Vanable

Ain’t smart enough to use one.
—Ed McDonnell

I am a real estate manager, and the smart phone has made my job easier by integrating my contact list, camera and mapping capabilities into my phone. If more applications were developed specifically for my profession, I would definitely find a way to use them.
—Steven Savoca

As a result of the smart phones, the Internet, and other technological advances, business has become more moment-to-moment, which increases efficiency. Some people feel modern communication is too efficient and invasive, but in my opinion it sure beats the Pony Express.
—Joe Cameron

E-mail, voicemail, texting, navigation, Internet searches, and media recording/playback all in the field! Who could not benefit from these capabilities?
—Lou Calarese, Applied Audio and Theatre Supply

My Android sits on my desk in a media cradle and alerts me real-time to the arrival of e-mail (from four different accounts), AIM and text messages and phone calls. What a time-saver!
—Steve Vaughn

(c) 2010 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail rbj@rbj.net.


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