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Mum’s the word for UK women

Press release   •   Jun 19, 2015 14:28 BST

Research from the Post Office, to coincide with the launch today of its new Post Office Mobile service, has revealed women spend more than two days a year on the phone – just to their mum. In comparison, men will spend just over half an hour a week talking to their mum on their phone – almost half the time women do.

The study, of 2,000 Brits found that women will spend just over an hour a week - which amounts to almost four and a half hours a month - talking to their mum about day-to-day life, their work and relationships.

The research also reveals that almost half (49 per cent) of those surveyed believe they spend less time talking on the phone now than they did ten years ago. Six in ten (59 per cent) even admit there is at least one person they usually avoid calling or talking to on the phone, with more than one in twenty (6 per cent) claiming there are ten or more people they currently screen.

Further to this, more than a quarter of Brits say they don’t like talking on the phone at all, with complaints that it takes up too much of their time (39%), they feel awkward (30%) or they just prefer to send a quick text message instead (26%). One in ten (10 per cent) admit the expense of making phone calls is another key reason for not picking up the phone.

82 per cent of women often have long conversations with their mum, with 26 per cent of women speaking to their mum on the phone at least once a day, compared to just 20 per cent of men. However, more than one in ten blokes admit that it’s often their mum who picks up the phone – to remind them they need to do something. One in five men (20 per cent) confess they never call their mum ‘just to talk’, instead only picking up the phone when they need something. Another one in twenty (5 per cent) even claim they never talk to mum on the phone.

The research also shows that women spend the equivalent of almost six days a year chatting on the phone. That is two hours and 42 minutes talking on the phone each week to friends, family, colleagues and even call centres, which amounts to more than 140 hours a year. In comparison, guys are on the phone for just over two hours a week or five days a year.

Top ten reasons for calling mum

  • 1.To see how they are
  • 2.For a catch-up or a chat
  • 3.To ask them to do something
  • 4.To find something out about another member of the family
  • 5.For cooking advice
  • 6.To complain about work
  • 7.For health advice
  • 8.For parenting advice
  • 9.For financial advice
  • 10.For relationship advice

Professor Sir Cary Cooper of Manchester University said;

“Women have always been more family-centred and concerned about their children, siblings and parents. That women call their mums more often to find out how they are and to have a general chat, whereas men tend to call for a specific reason or to get information from their mother, reinforces women’s more caring role and predisposition.

“Women also have more emotional intelligence or EQ which means they are more inclined to provide social support to their parents, in this case their mother.

“The fact that the findings suggest that people are talking less on the phone because they lead frenetic and busy lives, and probably communicating more by texts and emails, is a sad commentary of our times. You need to invest in relationships by face-to-face communication or by phone, and not just through social media. This will unfortunately have a negative impact on the quality of our lives in the long run.

“Talking face to face or on the phone with people can help to build meaningful relationships, which can ultimately enhance our wellbeing and quality of life.”

Geoff Smyth, Head of Telecoms, Post Office, added;

“We understand the value in talking over the phone. It is so easy for things to get lost in translation over digital formats and, when it comes to engaging with loved ones, conversation over the phone is second only to face to face engagement. It is because of this that we have created the Post Office Mobile service that will give our customers more value for their money and encourage them to pick up the phone for longer without breaking the bank.”

The research was carried out to coincide with the new Pay-As-You-Go service from Post Office Mobile, which will run on the EE network and enable customers to pay less as they go. Designed to offer great value and transparency to the nation’s 36 million pay-as-you-go users (44% of the mobile market), calls to both landlines and mobiles are just 8p per minute standard rate - up to 77% cheaper than some of the other main providers - and 10p per text. Customer top-ups will be doubled; for example, if you top up £10 in any 30 day period, you will receive £20.The free credit lasts for 30 days, helping to keep the nation talking for longer. Bundles can also be bought at competitive prices, starting at just £5 for 250 minutes, 3,000 texts and 500MB of data.

ENDS

Notes to editors

For further information and to arrange interviews with a Post Office spokesperson and/or Sir Cary Cooper, please contact:

Vishal Rana, Unity: 020 7440 9810 or Vishal@hellounity.com

Robyn Swan, Unity: 020 7440 9819 or Robyn@hellounity.com

Research was carried out by research agency 72point, polling 2145 UK adults from 21.05.15 to 09.06.15

About Post Office

The Post Office Mobile service is available nationally from postoffice.co.uk or by calling the Mobile customer service centre on Tel. 0333 777 3300. Top-up transactions can be done at any of Post Office's 11,500 branches around the UK. If customers prefer to buy the mobile service over the counter, the roll out will commence in 213 branches in the North West followed by the rest of the network.

The Post Office is undertaking a £2bn investment programme, which will see up to 8,000 branches modernised with additional investment in over 3,000 community and outreach branches.

The Post Office has an unrivalled national network of over 11,500 branches across the UK, more than all the high street banks combined, and sits at the heart of communities in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. The Post Office has made a commitment to maintaining its network of branches at its current size and reach. It provides around 170 different products and services spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards; Government services; telephony; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services.

The Post Office serves over 17 million customers a week and a third of small businesses. Some 99.7% of the total population live within three miles of a post office and over 93% live with one mile of a post office. For many rural communities, the post office is the only retail outlet. Post Offices branches remain highly valued and trusted, and are the focal point of many communities. For more information, visit www.postoffice.co.uk.