Business Owners Can’t Live Without Their Smartphones

As the workplace becomes increasingly mobile, smartphones have become indispensable to many owners of small and medium-sized businesses, according to a new survey.

Phone system provider RingCentral conducted a survey among 400 U.S. customers who own small and medium-sized businesses to determine how smartphones, such as BlackBerries and iPhones, have changed the way they do business.

The survey found that a large chunk of business is being conducted on smartphones, and they have outpaced landlines as the phone of choice. More than three-fourths (77%) of respondents said they use their smartphones the most to conduct business, as opposed to an office phone (22%) or home phone (1%). Almost half (47%) of respondents said they use a smartphone two-thirds of the time they are on the phone for work. Another third (34%) said they use their smartphone between one-third and two-thirds of the time.

Most respondents (63%) still use their computer more for business than their smartphone for business—but 34% said they use their smartphone more for business.

As even more evidence of how smartphones have stolen the hearts of business owners, when asked the top thing they can’t live without, just as many respondents (40%) chose their smartphones as those who chose “having an intimate relationship.” We’ve seen intimacy and cell phones go neck and neck before (see “Which Is It: Cell Phone or Sex?”). The other options respondents could choose were morning coffee (17%) or checking social networking sites (3%).

RingCentral conducted the e-mail survey from March 12 to 16.