Tag Archives: WhatsApp

Work-life balance – back to the future or the past? [TUPdate]

Progress toward work-life separation, until sudden integration

I will admit to having recently used more than one cliché about these being “unprecedented times” or even that we’re headed towards a “new normal”.

When it comes to work-life balance, what was “normal” is all-too “precedented”. For years, PCs have enabled American employees to bring work home. Enabling is not always a positive characteristic, depending on one’s perspective. No sooner had employees scaled down their work at home, minimizing their commingled work and personal activities, then along came COVID-19.

Employees using Home PCs for work – a recent history

For decades, employees have slowly separating their personal and work lives. Step by step, application by application, employees had been using their home PCs for fewer and fewer work-related tasks. In the MetaFacts 2015 wave of TUP/Technology User Profile, we found that one in three US employees regularly used their home PCs for work email, one in five to search for work-related financial or other information, and one in six to manage work appointments or share files. By our 2019 wave, we found that home PC usage levels for these work activities had dropped to around two-thirds of these levels.

Now that six in ten US employees are working from home, and with almost half (49%) using a home-owned PC, their home PC is getting a lot of work-related use.

In addition to the work activities employees had been avoiding on their home PC, the home or work PC employees are using at home to work is being utilized for an even wider range of activities than before. Well beyond checking work emails, employee communications have broadened well beyond emails to include video calls, group video meetings, and group chats.

Also, more than ever before, there is currently deeper collaboration through shared cloud storage systems and platforms.

The work-life balance challenge made more visible

With so many working from home, the work-life balance challenge is more visible. Six out of ten US employees are working from home and not going to a workplace, a rate we found remained effectively stable in each of our May 7th (61%), April 15th (59%) and earlier April 8th (61%) and MetaFacts Pulse survey waves that included this question.

Interestingly, how employees use their work-from-home PC is different from how they recently used their employer-provided work PC. Employees are spending less time in face-to-time meetings and using their PCs as a focal communicating point to get things done.

Less than a year ago, in our MetaFacts TUP/Technology User Profile 2019 wave, we found employees used their work PCs to do similar activities as we found in our May 7th MetaFacts Pulse survey, although to a greater extent. Employees are using their work-at-home PCs more intensively than they had been using their work PCs. For every type of work-related or personal activities, a higher share of employees is doing the activity than before.

The active life of the work-at-home PC

Among employees working from home in May, 84% are using a PC, whether owned by their employer (35%) or themselves (49%). Their work-related activities are strongly intermixed with their personal activities, except for personal activities with a work PC. Many employers that provide PCs, especially larger employers, lock down the capabilities of the work PC to restrict its use to certain work apps or activities. Also, employees have learned to separate their personal communication activities onto other platforms, especially to use their smartphones.

American workers choose different video platforms for video calls than meetings, and for personal versus work-related matters

US employees have continued to have work meetings – essentially moving from face-to-face meetings to video platforms. With widespread stay-at-home orders in place, video platforms for calls as well as for group meetings have grown in use among employees as well as the general online public, and for personal as well as work-related matters.

However, there is no one single dominant platform for all subjects and numbers of participants. The closest thing to a dominant platform is Zoom, with Skype in the wings. Zoom and Skype are in the top-ranked platforms for both personal and work matters, as well as for calls and multi-person meetings.

Consumer-focused WhatsApp is top-ranked for personal use and among the main platforms being used for work video conferences, likely a surprise to many company’s IT/IS managers.

Corporate-oriented Microsoft Teams and WebEx are ranked within work-related calls and conferences.

Fewer video conferencing platforms for work than for personal

There appear to be more standards in place for work-related videoconferences. While the mean number of platforms in use is close to 3 for personal calls and conferences, as well as for work-related video calls, the mean is closer to 2 platforms for work video conferencing platforms.

Today’s long tail for work video conferencing platforms

The largest number of American workers (37%) use only one video conferencing platform for work-related issues. The rest (63%) are juggling many. This reflects the current state of confusion following the rapid move to working at home. Employers are likely to reduce the number of platforms used, at least within their companies. Standardization helps employees to be more efficient, and can also help employers to strike more favorable pricing with platform providers. However, many outward-facing employees have the same challenge as consumers – finding a common platform when communicating with others who have their own different standards.

About this TUPdate

The information referred to in this special TUPdate is based on independent research conducted by MetaFacts: three waves of MetaFacts Pulse surveys and two waves of TUP/Technology User Profile.

The projections of total US employees are based on TUP/Technology User Profile 2019 conducted among 8,060 respondents and the TUP/Technology User Profile 2015 wave conducted among 2,896 employed respondents. Also, this TUPdate included results from the May 7th, April 15th, and April 8th, 2020 waves of the MetaFacts Pulse Employee survey.

Resources

Current TUP/Technology User Profile subscribers may request the supporting TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis. Subscribers to the MetaFacts Employees Pulse surveys may request the supporting information and can make additional inquiries. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP or the MetaFacts Pulse surveys, please contact MetaFacts.

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Filed under Cloud Storage, Communication, TUP 2015, TUP 2019, TUPdate, Usage Patterns

Facebook Users Hop, Skip, or Jump? [TUPdate]

The share of online Americans using any of Facebook’s sites has dropped in the last year. The % of online adults using Facebook, Instagram,or WhatsApp, as well as any of these three, is lower than one year prior. This is based on the 2018 wave of Technology User Profile (TUP), a survey of technology users now in its 36th year.

Three in four online adults (76%) report having used Facebook in the prior 30 days, down from 84% in the prior year.

When Facebook acquired Instagram, it looked like a solid move to give site-hopping users an alternate venue to connect and share, whilestill staying within the Facebook family. However, as the advertisements rampedup and other sites attracted interest, users became less active or left.Between 2015 and 2017, Instagram’s expansion appeared to be on track to reachat least half of online adults before 2020. However, use has shrunk from a peak42% level in 2017 to the present 38%.

We looked at the overlap of users of any of the three sites – Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp – and that share has also decreased, although not as strongly. In 2017, the share of adult Americans using any of the three was 87%, and now in 2018 that share has dropped to 82%.

Looking ahead

Fickle consumers continue to express how they choose to spend their time online and offline. Although Facebook has taken many steps to weave their way into everyday experiences, users continue to explore alternatives. I’m reminded of the rises and falls we’ve seen in sites from Google+, MySpace, AOL to CompuServe and Prodigy, as network effects or following the herd entices large groups of users to move on from the market leaders.While I’m not calling this dip the beginning of another end, it is a cautionary note that Facebook has additional work ahead of them. Also, user defection isn’t the only issue facing Facebook. Advertisers and organizations reliant on Facebook can speed up any downdraft as they review any shifts in their own key numbers and consider other options.

Related results

TUP clients can drill down further into these results to explore related results such as: which types of devices users use to access social networks, demographic profiles of users by social network, and details for the UK, Germany, China, and India.

Methodology

The analysis in this TUPdate is based on results drawn from the most-recent wave of TUP (Technology User Profile), the 2018 edition which is TUP’s 36th continuous wave. This survey-based study details the use of technology products by a carefully-selected and weighted set of respondents drawn to represent online adults. This recent wave spanned the US, UK, Germany, India, and China. For this TUPdate we focused on users in the US.

About this TUPdate

This TUPdate includes a complimentary brief summary of recent MetaFacts TUP (Technology User Profile) research results. These results are based on results of the MetaFacts Technology User Profile 2018 survey, its 36th consecutive wave. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

Resources

This TUPdate includes a complimentary brief summary of recent MetaFacts TUP (Technology User Profile) research results. These results are based on results of the MetaFacts Technology User Profile 2018 survey, its 36th consecutive wave. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

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Filed under Consumer research, Market Research, Social Networking, TUP 2018, TUPdate

What is the profile of the most-active communicators? (MetaFAQs)

The generation gap is often attributed to communication differences. Although often chalked up to the choice of words – slang, symbols, or even emoji – there are also differences in the mode of communication.

More than a few frustrated parents have found their voicemail messages ignored and learned that text messaging may be the best way to stay in touch with their children.

Meanwhile, younger adults have continued to expand their repertoire of communication modes – email, text messaging, video calls, clicks on social networks, and more.metafacts-metafaqs-mq0054-2016-10-23_11-19-58

In fact, the most-active communicators are age 18-34. These use the broadest assortment of communication activities across their connected devices. Over half of the top-third in communication activity breadth are age 18-34.

This is based on our most recent research among 7,336 US adults as part of the Technology User Profile (TUP) 2016 survey.

This MetaFAQs research result addresses one of the many questions profiling active technology users.

Many other related answers are part of the full TUP service, available to paid subscribers. The TUP chapter with the most information about activities is the TUP 2016 Activities Chapter.

These MetaFAQs are brought to you by MetaFacts, based on research results from their most-recent wave of Technology User Profile (TUP).

For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

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Filed under Basic cell phones, Communication, Demographics & Econographics, Desktops, Market Research, MetaFAQs, Mobile Phones, Notebooks, Smartphones, TUP 2016

WhatsApp Brazilian Dance Step

Today a Brazilian judge ordered another stop to WhatsApp on Brazil’s smartphones, at least temporarily. (Source: Reuters May 2, 2016)
Creative Commons Courtesy Ed Yourdon
WhatsApp is a very popular communications app around the world, and especially strong in Brazil. According to the most recent wave of our Technology User Profile survey, 82% of Brazil’s connected adults have used WhatsApp in the prior 30 days.

While this means 70.4 million adults are affected, Brazil’s active WhatsApp users have other options. Among the other sites and apps which are actively used for communication and networking, 68% use InstaGram and nearly six in ten (58%) already actively use Skype. Another quarter (26%) use SnapChat and one-in-six (16%) use Viber.
Brazilian WhatsApp users are already in a good position to use other options. Only 1% of WhatsApp users are only using WhatsApp and not using Instagram, Skype, G+, SnapChat, or Viber.
whatsapp metafacts 2016-05-02_16-41-59

Furthermore, while 81% of WhatsApp users use a Smartphone, not all do. WhatsApp is also accessible on PCs. Among the many devices Brazilian WhatsApp adults regularly use, 98% access a PC, and many use more than one. Eight-one percent use 2 or more PCs. Just under half (47%) have a Tablet PC, with Android tablets outnumbering Apple’s iPads or Tablets running Windows.

With WhatsApp’s broad popularity, it’s not as if any particular Smartphone carrier is being singled out. Each carrier’s share among WhatsApp’s customer base is nearly identical to the total base, with TIM having twice the share of any other carrier, Claro (Embratel, NET Serviços) in second place, then followed by Oi SA (Telemar Norte Leste, Brasil Telecom) and Telefônica.

It’s also not as if these Brazilians will have their communication stymied. Ninety percent of WhatsApp users regularly send/receive personal email, 85% text message, 83% make/receive personal phone calls, and 49% participate in a personal web-based group meeting.

Looking ahead
Although legal events like these can cause big disruptions, tech users are resilient, especially Brazilians. Other communication-rich apps and sites such as Skype, G+, SnapChat and Viber will continue to increase their efforts to claim any bewildered or befuddled WhatsApp users. Meanwhile, Brazilian tech users will continue to juggle their many devices as well as the many ways that they already communicate.

Source
This TUPdate includes a complimentary brief summary from the Technology User Profile survey of adults throughout the US, UK, France, Brazil, and China. The results are based on a multi-country survey of over 10,000 representative respondents conducted by MetaFacts. Current TUP subscribers can obtain additional analysis and supporting datasets at a substantial discount. To license the full market research results, contact MetaFacts.

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Filed under Behaviors and Activities, Communication, Desktops, Market Research, Multiple Devices, Notebooks, Smartphones, Social Networking, TUP 2015