Women in MY and SG use phones for personal enjoyment, says Telenor survey

Professional women in Malaysia use their mobile phones mainly for personal enjoyment rather than business. They most often check their mobile phones for social media (53%), messaging apps (46%) and voice calls (29%), according to Telenor Group's “Tech Trends: Women” survey. The survey saw 1,300 female participants in Southeast Asia and Scandinavia, with 208 women hailing from Malaysia.

Also, 67% of Malaysian women check their social media news feeds before going to sleep at night, while 2% use messaging apps for professional correspondence and another 3% send work-related emails. Despite being glued to their mobile phones, Malaysian women cited flying in an airplane (57%), job interviews (56%) and being at a cinema/opera/theatre (52%) as the top three situations in which they would not use their mobile phones.

Meanwhile, 24% of Malaysian women surveyed felt that their mobile usage granted them the flexibility to work anywhere and 21% noted improvements in managing work-life balance, with only 7% feeling that they end up working overtime too much. The three most common feelings associated with using their mobile phones were "entertained" (55%), "connected to the world" (50%) and "relaxed" (33%). According to the survey, this reflects an overall satisfactory and positive outlook towards mobile usage.

Respondents also indicated that mobile technology can contribute positively to information and knowledge sharing (62%), easy banking and payment access (45%) and information and access to health and medical services (23%).

Meanwhile, women in Singapore mainly use their mobile phones for messaging apps (65%), check social media (52%) and music (25%). Besides checking messaging apps and social media before going to bed, 31% of Singaporean women surveyed said they use their mobile phones to set their alarms for the next day. Like Malaysian women, those in Singapore also stated that they feel entertained (57%), connected to the world (48%) and relaxed (42%) when using their mobile phones.

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Erica Gibson, VP of product management and user research, Telenor Group, said by and large, the female respondents said the mobile phone is one of the tools that helps them shape how they balance their personal lives with their professional lives.

"The mobile phone seems to be less of a leash to the office than we expected. We are seeing well-educated, professional women turn to mobile devices for entertainment, maintaining personal connections, and providing a break from the rigours of their busy lives," Gibson said. She added that the survey has given the company "crystallised and very useful insights" into female digital habits and user needs.

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