Mixpanel Trends: Which cities are most work-addicted? - Mixpanel
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Mixpanel Trends: Which cities are most work-addicted?

Last edited: Oct 19, 2020

Addiction in the United States
The figure of the American work addict is alive and well — but how much is myth? We decided to shed a little light by applying our newest metric, Addiction.*

Earlier this month, we took a look at how addicted users are to apps in different verticals. We found that in the Enterprise vertical, the majority of people using enterprise products were using them for 2-4 hours every day. Only a small percentage engaged with enterprise apps for 10+ hours. But what does addiction to enterprise apps look like on a city-by-city basis?

Addiction in San Francisco
As it turns out, city dwellers may not work as hard as they think they do — and San Francisco is no exception. The majority (around 60%) of San Franciscans are using enterprise apps for 2 hours every day — almost twice the national average for this bucket. While 15% of people are using enterprise apps for 7+ hours a day across the United States, in San Francisco the work day seems to close out after that 7-hour mark. Unique to San Francisco is a bump at the 11-hour mark; a small but dedicated cohort is using enterprise apps for nearly every waking hour. (Whether this is correlated with the number of entrepreneurs remains to be seen.)

San Francisco has a mean salary of $62,680 — the second-highest of the five cities in this report — and an unemployment rate of 5.6% (Oakland, by contrast, has almost a 12% unemployment rate). San Francisco also boasts the second highest GDP per capita, just after Washington, DC.

Given that San Francisco is the center of the tech industry right now, the addiction graph is a little surprising; we expected to see a longer tail for enterprise addiction. (Perhaps people are too busy writing enterprise software to use it.)

Addiction in New York City
In New York (unemployment 8.9%, annual mean salary $56,940), addiction is distributed more logically. New York City has the largest regional economy in the United States, and at the heart of it are the financial, healthcare, and real estate industries (to name but a few). In New York, about 30% of people use enterprise software for 4-6 unique hours daily; this is lower than the national average, but still more of a hustle than San Francisco.

Addiction in Philadelphia
Times are a little tougher in Philadelphia — the unemployment rate is at 11%, and the annual mean salary is around $50,710. Philly is also 9th on the list of GDP per capita; the average GDP per capita is 80% of what it is in San Francisco. The former manufacturing hub is now an IT and service-based economy, to say nothing of the fact that Philadelphia is also a university town. Work addiction in Philadelphia doesn’t look like any other city: while most addiction graphs follow a path of steady drop-off, in this case there’s a steady decline and then a significant bump midway through the workday. There’s also a small but dedicated percentage using enterprise apps between 7 and 10 hours every day — a longer and more consistent tail than any other city in this report.

Addiction in Washington DC
Of all the cities to have a straightforward 8-hour day, Washington, DC, makes a lot of sense. Around 30% of workers in Washington, DC, are employed by the government; aside from the 40-hour work week being standard for most government workers, enterprise software just may not be as central to the workflow as it is in other industries. The annual salary in DC is $64,690; the metropolitan area has the highest GDP per capita, though it is the 4th largest regional economy in the United States.

Addiction in Los Angeles
Work addiction in Los Angeles suggests that the workday is longer for some Angelenos than it is anywhere else, with a solid cohort of people checking in on their enterprise apps between 7 and 11 hours every day. Given that the main export in LA is entertainment, one theory we have is that people in LA need to stay apace with their New York counterparts, so the day stretches out to accommodate the 3-hour time difference. This is interesting to consider, given that the average annual salary in LA is $51,990, which falls solidly between Philadelphia and New York, which both have slightly shorter addiction timeframes. LA also has the second-largest regional economy in the US, just after New York City.

Anecdotal evidence of work addiction is everywhere, whether it’s the tech worker using her laptop on the subway at 7 am, or the EDM fan checking his work email while on line for the bathroom at the club. What’s particularly notable is that people in major metropolitan areas aren’t necessarily as addicted to their work as the average American — in many cases, urban workers are less addicted than Americans as a whole. Also relevant is that the patterns of addiction to enterprise software are likely industry-specific — take the difference between addiction in Washington, DC and Los Angeles, for example. While the 8-hour workday is alive and well in some American cities, work remains an around-the-clock affair for some urbanites.

*Addiction measures how frequently people use an app throughout the day. For example, if the app is a media player, and a customer watches the new Beyoncé video once in the morning, once at lunch, and once on the commute home, they’ve engaged with the app during three separate hours: as such, they’ll fall into the 3-hour bucket.

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