Telenor Survey Shows Myanmar Women Feel Happy and Optimistic When Using Mobile Phones

A recent Telenor Group survey showed Myanmar women found happiness and optimism as one of their top feelings associated with mobile usage. The survey which was conducted in six countries; Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Sweden and Norway; with a sample of 1,300 professional women aged 25-40 gave interesting insight into the habits and values of professional women in the countries with regards to mobile connectivity. “By and large, the women we talked to say that 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 their busy lives,” said Dr. Erica Gibson, VP of Product Management and User Research, Telenor Group.

“The survey has given us more crystallized and useful insight into female digital habits and user needs. We wanted to talk to women about this because we know that they hold large stakes in connectivity and access to information and services, which they make clear in this survey,” said Gibson.

More than 200 Myanmar women with university education between the ages of 25 to 40 participated in the survey which was conducted through online panel in June and July 2018.

According to the findings, Myanmar women stand out from the other markets in the self-proclaimed optimism they feel related to mobile phones and they claim that they feel connected to the world and entertained when using their phones. The women in the survey reveal that mobile phones help them with flexibility to balance their professional lives with their personal lives. Myanmar women are among the most who stand behind the ideal work-life balance that mobile phones have enabled them to.

The top mobile activities include using social media, reading news and making personal phone calls. Between 50% – 80% of women in all markets say they use social media apps most out of any other mobile features, despite much talk of social media fatigue.

While social media usage was found to rule mobile habits around the clock, Myanmar women also use mobile to make personal phone calls as their top communications activities when other markets trends revolve around using messaging apps as their main way to communicate. Apart from work related mobile phone activities such as phone calls, internet banking, and emails. A significant number of women in Myanmar also use mobile phones for entertainment purposes such as listening to music, watching movies, TV and gaming as well.

Interestingly, when looking at top mobile activities, the survey found that the degrees to which the personal supersedes the professional on mobile phones shifts as you head from West to East. In Norway and Sweden, women list work among their least frequent mobile uses, and try to completely shut out the office in the evening. Women in Southeast Asia allow work to percolate through more of their personal time. Women in Thailand and Myanmar, however, both list work-related messaging and phone calls as fourth and sixth most frequent activities.

As for how mobile technology has impacted their working lives, the most common answers in Sweden and Norway are “not changed” or that mobiles allow them “flexibility to work anywhere”. Thai, Myanmar, Singaporean and Malaysian women agree that mobile phones allow for more work flexibility. Myanmar women also claim that having mobile phones also gives them a global perspective.

In the evening, respondents to the survey were also asked about their last three mobile activities before bedtime and in the middle of the night. Checking social media news feed came across as the first in the list in all markets. While 47% checks their social feeds, 28% of Myanmar women also read news, 25% watch movies, TV series on mobile and 16% turns to gaming before bed. Work related mobile activities seems to decline as the night approaches.

Professional women in Myanmar use their mobile phones quite frequently but there are certain situations where they will disconnect. When looking at these situations, there are also some commonality and oppositions and various markets. Women in all six markets say job interviews are among their top “phone off” locations. More than 90% of Scandinavian women say funerals are inappropriate for mobiles, compared to 22% of Myanmar women. While only a few Asian women are attuned to not having the phone turned off or on silent mode in group settings such as Yoga and Pilates, 40-60% of Scandinavians women are opposed to having the phone on speaker volume at such activities. Only 10% of Myanmar women chose to vote for having the phone turned off or on silent mode at the cinema or theatre while most markets chose the activity as their top three situations to turn their phone off or put it on silent mode.

Nearly half of the respondents from Myanmar feel connected to the world and one-third of the women feel entertained. One unique finding among the professional Myanmar women is that they feel happy and optimistic as their top three emotions associated with using mobile phones. Malaysia, Norway, Singapore and Thailand all share feeling “relaxed” while on their mobile. Feelings such as “depressed”, “stressed”, “overwhelmed”, and “exposed” were least frequently identified across the board.


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