Posted July 13, 2011 5:39 pm by with 2 comments

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Think about the last time you were in a business meeting. Did you sneak a peek? Be honest? Did you hide your mobile phone under the table or go to the restroom for a quick look?

According to a recent Harris Poll, 63% of American’s surveyed believe that people sneak-a-peek at their cell phones during work meetings. The most popular methods of sneakery are:

  • 47% – Hiding their mobile device under the table
  • 42% – Excusing themselves to go to the restroom
  • 35% – Hiding their mobile device in their folders/notebooks/papers
  • 9% – Pretending to tie their shoes
  • 8% – Creating a distraction

Creating a distraction! What an image. “Look, Carmen Electra in a helicopter!”

What’s even worse, is that 74% believe people use their cell phones at work to do things they wouldn’t do on the company computer, for example, look for another job or visit a dating site.

Still, no one is advocating a ban on mobile phones in the work place. 61% said companies should allow employees to use whatever type of device they want to access email, documents and videos. Because when we watch videos at work, it’s part of the job, right?

Sure. Here’s what people are really watching at work:

The most popular choice was news clips (25%) followed by viral videos (15%), videos posted on social networking sites (12%), sports events/sports clips (11%), television shows (9%), full length feature films (4%) and other online videos (3%).

Full length movies? And to think that employers often complain about remote workers because they can’t be sure they’re actually working. Time to take a walk around your own office.

What can marketers make of all this? I’m tempted to say, a broach, a hat and a pterodactyl. . . but how about the fact that we’re always connected. That at 3:00, a secretary is using her mobile phone to order take-out for dinner while the IT guy is involved in a bidding war on eBay.

Any time is marketing time if you’re marketing on mobile.

  • I’ve experienced that, especially because back when I was working on a corporate company, they had site restrictions, or no Internet at all. Because I was so used to browsing, it’s like going on withdrawals everyday.lols

  • This is so funny Cynthia, but great stats too! I really can’t believe people are watching entire movies. I cued up a movie one time at work, but it was only to test Silverlight (it was also A Little Princess–the first movie that popped up). The internet and mobile have greatly integrated our personal and business lives, and that is both good and bad. Sure, maybe we are doing our Amazon shopping at work, but we are also checking our work e-mail after dinner. You really nail this post with your last sentence though–I wonder, on the marketing end, how much consideration of the furtive qualities of at-work consumer time is taken into account, that, say, tries to accommodate our secrecy?