Professor Bittman and co-researcher Judith Brown, from the University of New England, and Judy Wajcman, from the London School of Economics, are conducting an ongoing study into how mobile phones have affected human interactions and phone etiquette. They analysed communication diaries of hundreds of people.
Nearly two-thirds of all communications monitored were to family and friends. Work-related calls, in contrast, were confined to standard work hours, rising sharply after 8am and declining around 5pm weekdays.
Even when work phone calls intruded into the precious after-hours’ space, between 7pm and midnight, they were merely 2.6 per cent of the calls logged.
Moreover, only a minuscule number of texts and calls — 0.02 per cent — interrupted a leisure activity and prompted actual work.
Those making heavy use of their mobile phones also did not describe themselves as more rushed than lighter phone users, Professor Bittman said.