Smartphones are Top Productivity Killer

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While technology helps workers stay connected while away from the office, in many cases it is causing them to disconnect while in the office, leading to a negative impact on productivity. According to new CareerBuilder research, 1 in 5 employers (19 percent) think workers are productive less than five hours a day. When looking for a culprit, more than half of employers (55 percent) say that workers’ mobile phones/texting are to blame.

More than 8 in 10 workers (83 percent) have smartphones, and 82 percent of those with smartphones keep them within eye contact at work. And while only 10 percent of those with smartphones say it’s decreasing their productivity at work, 2 in 3 (66 percent) say they use it (at least) several times a day while working.

“While we need to be connected to devices for work, we’re also a click away from alluring distractions from our personal lives like social media and various other apps,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. “The connectivity conundrum isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it needs to be managed. Have an open dialogue with employees about tech distractions. Acknowledge their existence and discuss challenges/solutions to keeping productivity up.”

Wasting Time at Work

When asked to name the biggest productivity killers in the workplace, employers cited cell phones/texting, followed by the Internet and workplace gossip:

  • Cell phone/texting: 55 percent
  • The Internet: 41 percent
  • Gossip: 39 percent
  • Social media: 37 percent
  • Co-workers dropping by: 27 percent
  • Smoke breaks or sneak breaks: 27 percent
  • Email: 26 percent
  • Meetings: 24 percent
  • Noisy co-workers: 20 percent
  • Sitting in a cubicle: 9 percent

The majority of workers with smartphones (65 percent) do not have their work emails on their smartphones. Of those who access their smartphone during work for non-work use, they spend their time on these non-work related sites during work:

  • Personal messaging: 65 percent
  • Weather: 51 percent
  • News: 44 percent
  • Games: 24 percent
  • Shopping: 24 percent
  • Traffic: 12 percent
  • Gossip: 7 percent
  • Sales: 6 percent
  • Adult: 4 percent
  • Dating: 3 percent

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