Smartphones are said to make our work fast and easy by helping us complete urgent tasks on the move and keeping us regularly updated. Today we can unlock a whole universe of facts with a swipe of our smartphone. However, the latest study by Kaspersky Lab illustrates that we could be 26% more productive without our smartphones. Smartphones affect the productivity level of employees at work by causing distractions. The participants were asked either to surrender their smartphones or keep it far from them. The study found that the productivity level and the distance between the participant and their smartphone had inverse relations. Some of the major findings of the study are:
- 37.4% of the participants rate their smartphones more or equally important as their close friends.
- 93% of the participants gave away their pin to their digital best friend when asked. There is a very high level of trust within people for their smartphones.
- Compared to women, men have more lust for their smartphones. Overall, participants couldn’t resist more than 44 seconds without touching their smartphones. 21 seconds was the average time for men, while it was 57 seconds in case of women.
The company came up with a video showcasing the experiment and some more findings:
The study was led through an experiment in laboratories at the Universities of Wurzburg and Nottingham Trent, testing the behaviour of 95 people between 19 to 56 years of age. They were asked to keep their smartphones on the desk, in their pockets, locked in a drawer and completely away, out of their access.
According to another study by Nottingham Trent University, people check their smartphone 85 times in a day, on an average of 5 hours, which is about a third of the time they are awake, even though more than half of the uses lasted less than 30 seconds. Rapid mobile phone interactions are becoming habitual for smartphone users. For every small work we rely on our smartphones, be it checking the time.
As per the findings of another piece of study by Kaspersky Lab, named Digital Amnesia at work, digital devices can have a negative impact on concentration levels. Digital Amnesia is forgetting the information we trust a device to remember for us. Typing notes into digital devices during a meeting lowers the level of understanding of what is actually happening in the meeting. Also, previous studies show that absence of smartphone increases the anxiety level, though, the presence of smartphones causes a distraction, which means both absence and presence of a smartphone could affect concentration. However, it is the absence that improves the productivity.
In the era of connected device, it’s not that easy for a person to stay away from their smartphone. A study, though a bit old, done by Crowd DNA highlights that 72% of people could not afford to leave their mobile phone at home. To understand how mobile have graved into our lives, 60% people select mobile phone over TV, if given a choice.
Banning digital devices from the workplace in inconsiderable. These findings can give businesses an insight on how productivity can be improved by keeping a check on smartphone use at work. Another factor to be considered is that lower concentration levels could lead to security issues as well, and that is why it is highly important to consider the issue and take appropriate measures.
“Instead of permanent access to their smartphones, employee productivity might be boosted if they have dedicated ‘smartphone-free’ time. One way of doing this is to enforce ‘meeting rules’ – such as no phones and no computers – in the regular work environment.”, says Vladimir Zapolyansky, Head of SMB Marketing, Kaspersky Lab.
Combining all the reports, we can come to a conclusion that if smartphone usage at work is decreased, the performance and productivity will highly increase. Smartphones are becoming a part of an individual. They connect us to people and place information at our fingertips. Eight in ten of us rely on our devices more than we did five years ago. And it’s not just our behaviour that’s adapting – our brains are too. We are letting the devices do all the work of remembering, with an excuse of achieving more. The decision lies with us, whether we want to allow the devices to overcome our potential or not.
All said and done; it’s difficult to decide what approach should you adopt as a business owner – allow or ban the use of smartphones by employees. But, what you must do is strike out a balance between usage or over usage of smartphones at different work hours.