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ISLAMABAD: Around 54 percent of Pakistanis believe mobile devices and mobile technology have significantly improved their careers and aided in developing their skills, with women reporting that their mobile devices have significantly improved their quality of life, according to a study conducted by Telenor Asia.

The study, and the second installment of the “Digital Lives Decoded” series launched in conjunction with Telenor Asia’s 25th anniversary, looks at how respondents across Asia are using their mobiles to adapt to changing realities as new work cultures emerge post-pandemic.

The report was surveyed by over 8,000 mobile internet users across eight countries in South and Southeast Asia. These countries include Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The report highlights how the workplace has evolved exponentially in the past three years due to the increasing influence of mobile devices in our daily life. Today’s workplace is characterized by processes enabled by mobile technology, and hybrid working practices bring increased flexibility to business and the lives of professionals.

“Our research points to mobile connectivity as an enabler of productivity, progress, flexibility and economic opportunity. Yet, we continue to see gaps in how this technology is used between urban and rural populations, large companies and SMEs, between industries and even between C-suite executives and their junior counterparts. In addition, people remain highly concerned about their skills and ability to keep pace with advancing technology.

The aspect of trust is also preventing people from realizing their full potential through mobile use in the world of work. As time spent working online increases, our survey findings can help identify the right tools and knowledge to close these gaps and improve digital work lives,” said Jørgen Rostrup, Head of Telenor Asia.

Speaking about the importance of understanding today’s changing workplace, Irfan Wahab Khan, Chief Executive Officer, Telenor Pakistan said, “This is a defining moment for businesses as companies around the world are adapting to new and affective ways of work. In addition, mobile technology has unlocked new revenue streams and empowered individuals in new ways; and the Pakistani workforce, including freelancers, entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts to understand and utilize the opportunities surrounding mobile connectivity.”

According to the study, eight out of ten respondents felt their performance and productivity had increased due to mobile technologies, with more than half believing personal productivity had increased by 20per cent or more. Gen Z is most likely to recognize the importance of digital tools, devices and connectivity in significantly improving performance and quality of work, as per the survey’s findings.

Regarding career trajectory, nine out of ten respondents thought their careers and skills had also been enhanced using mobile technologies. Respondents in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Thailand and Malaysia are most likely to have experienced the career-enhancing effects of a mobile device, reflecting the desire many in Asia have for learning on the go.

In Pakistan, 63per cent believe mobile devices significantly improve career and skills development. Mobile is now also seen as a way of generating income. Nearly half of the people surveyed feel mobile devices have provided work and income opportunities that were unavailable before the pandemic. In Pakistan, 38per cent of the respondents believe mobile devices have created new opportunities.

Mobile technology has not just boosted income-generating opportunities; it has had a positive impact on quality of life generally. Nearly half of the respondents felt that using a mobile device for work significantly improved their quality of life.

In Pakistan, 46per cent of the respondents believe mobile technology has dramatically improved their quality of life. Women believe their mobile devices provide them with greater access to work and income opportunities. In Pakistan, the number stands at 44per cent as compared to 33per cent of men.

The greatest concerns for respondents across the board were privacy and security. A slightly higher proportion of city dwellers (60 percent) view privacy and security to be a barrier as compared to those living in villages and rural areas (56 percent). In Pakistan, 53 percent of respondents have put privacy and security as main concerns when working remotely. Trust and related issues of privacy and security are other pain points organisations need to work on.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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