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Just 5% of workers ever truly leave the office

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Only 5.9 per cent of workers disconnect from the office while on leave, and 40 per cent have tried in-flight Wi-Fi to keep them connected.

The figures come from iPass, provider of a single login for companies to provide internet access to their employees. That gives the company a huge quantity of analytical data, which it has bulked out with a survey of more than a thousand customers to create its Mobile Workforce Report.

According to the survey results over half of mobile workers on holiday connect occasionally, while more than 35 per cent stay online throughout what's supposed to be a break. To be fair, less than 10 per cent said the holiday connections were all work-related, but less than six per cent said they were all personal.

The report (pdf) also tells us that only 40 per cent have tried in-flight Wi-Fi, perhaps finding that connectivity isn't the only problem when trying to work in an economy seat. The figures show that more than 90 per cent of those who planned to get an iPad-style device intend to use it for work, though a quarter of those surveyed were already using an iPad that way.

What with laptops, smartphones and iPads it's hardly surprising that almost 50 per cent of mobile workers are carrying two computers around with them, with 30 per cent lugging three computing devices around. But pity the poor 2.2 per cent who report carrying six or more pieces of electronics with them - no doubt with separate, incompatible chargers.

But most interesting is the statistical data gathered from iPass customers, showing that even where there's good 3G coverage Wi-Fi is still the preferred connection option. That's particularly interesting given that 3G should be able to offer a comparable experience, and that iPass users won't be personally paying for it either, so users are selecting Wi-Fi by preference as the faster option.

The statistics also show how long mobile workers spend working, or at least online. The average connection time for someone in a convention centre is more then two hours (which we can relate to - keynotes can be very dull) while those in a shopping centre hop online for only 45 minutes at a time, which is about as long as one can spin out a cup of coffee.

Being disconnected can be a good thing, but if you're carrying six or more electronic devices then you'll want to connect up at some point, if only to tell everyone how much kit you're carrying. ®

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