Nuremberg, June 22, 2016 – Internationally, 42 percent of the online connected population agree firmly1 with the statement “To me, it is important to always be reachable wherever I am” – and only 11 percent firmly disagree1. However, four countries – Germany, Sweden, Canada and Netherlands – run counter to this trend, with more of their connected consumers firmly disagreeing than agreeing.
According to a GfK survey of 22 countries, Russia and China have the highest levels of people online who agree strongly that it is important to them to be always reachable, wherever they are, standing at 56 percent each. They are followed by Turkey at 53 percent. These are the only countries surveyed where over half of their connected consumers agree strongly with that concept. Mexico comes close, with 50 percent, but there is then a drop to the next closest country: Poland at 41 percent.
Running against that international trend are Germany, Sweden, Canada and Netherlands. These countries are the only ones in the survey where greater numbers firmly disagree than agree with the idea that it is important to be always reachable.
In Germany, just over a third (34 percent) disagrees strongly with that idea compared to 16 percent who firmly agree. They are followed by Sweden at 28 percent versus 22 percent, Canada at 24 percent versus 23 percent, and the Netherlands at 23 percent versus 22 percent.
Nearly half of 30-39 year olds believe “always reachable” is important
Amongst the different age groups, people in their thirties show most leaning towards wanting to be always reachable – standing at nearly half (47 percent) firmly agreeing that it is important. Next come those in their twenties, at 45 percent, followed by teenagers (15-19 years old) at 43 percent. Those in their forties run a very close fourth at 42 percent. However, for people aged 50 and over, the perceived need to be always reachable drops off significantly - standing at a third (33 percent) of those in their fifties and just 29 percent of people aged 60 and over.
“Always reachable” demand is only slightly higher among women
Looking at the difference between genders, women are slightly more likely than men to see being always reachable wherever they are as being important (43 percent women versus 40 percent men). When it comes to those who firmly disagree with it being important, the difference is even narrower, standing at 10 percent of women and 11 percent of men.
Download the findings for all 22 countries
1 bottom two boxes and top two boxes from a seven point scale, where “1” means “do not agree at all”, and “7” means “agree completely”.
About the study
The survey question asked: “Here are some general statements about attitudes towards technology and information needs. Please specify a number from 1 to 7 for each statement, where “1” means you do not agree at all, and “7” means that you agree completely: ‘To me, it is important to always be reachable wherever I am’.”
GfK conducted the online survey with over 27,000 consumers aged 15 or older in 22 countries. Fieldwork was completed in June 2015 and data are weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the online population age 15+ in each market. The countries included are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UK and USA.