- August 10, 2018
- Posted by: Kimberly Ryan
- Category: Blog Posts
Have you ever gone 1 hour without your mobile phone and you just feel very incomplete? Take these scenario as an example – You leave your phone in the car just to walk into a store for a quick item shopping, unfortunately, there is a long check out queue. Your patience level drops and you become more irritable…It’s really not the long queue; if you had your smartphone, you would be a whole lot calmer. Yeah…. that’s mobile phone addiction right there. Most of us are attached to our smartphones and the use of these devices constitute a major part of our daily lives.
Honestly, who can blame us? Most daily operations occur on our smartphones – bill payments, money transfers, communications to others notwithstanding the distance, work and private mails, shopping, fitness measurements and so on. The list is endless. We all rely on the use of our smartphones for the ease of our every day lives. Plus, this is technology we are talking about here…failure to hop on smartphone bandwagon could relegate you to “cave man living under a rock” status. So, yeah, we understand how the use of smartphones can play a huge part of our lives and possibly increase addiction. Guess what? With the millennials, it’s worse off – they tend to open messages within 90 seconds of receiving them. Can you imagine the high level of communication speed that occurs there?
On the other hand, we need to be able to strike a balance…and this is not us trying to burst your bubble here. It’s just the reality of things. We have agreed that some mobile applications make us more productive, however, how do these applications affect our productivity at work? That’s the question we are trying to answer here. The excessive use of smartphones and how it could diminish productivity at work.
Some managers have complained about the excessive use of smartphones and how they feel it distracts employees from performing in their jobs. This has resulted in a fall in productivity.
Look at this scenario – Without a doubt, your smartphone has made you available 24/7. You leave work at 8pm…get through traffic…get home at 10pm…as soon as you walk in and settle down, your email alert ring out. You have been dealing with emails all day and it’s 10pm…yet you pick up your smartphone to check the mail and probably even reply. You can get pulled right back into the cycle and work continues into midnight. You need to be up by 5am and the daily rat race starts again with little rest in the system. Why? You refused to drop the smartphone early enough to rest your mind and brain. You may not feel the effect right away but over time, stress is bound to take its toll on your body.
In its own way, the excessive use and addiction – nomophobia – of smartphones can result in low productivity. When you do not give your 100% at work and you drop the ball because you were distracted with your smartphone and the social media applications on it, you let your colleagues pick up the slack and this can be completely demotivating for them as well. Employers are starting to notice these issues, and some have really strict smartphones policies in place to tackle this issue.
Let’s give some highlights on how the excessive use of your smartphone is actually letting you get less work done…contrary to what you might think:
- You can’t get decent sleep: You ever typed ‘Good Night’ more than 5 times in one night to the same person? You are addicted to the point that you can’t even get a proper night rest on time.
- Your desk is always full: Here could be the reason why; you are always on your phone. Your in-tray is loaded, and out-tray is empty. Check the volume of the use of smartphone.
- Your Push Notifications: Some of our inhouse consultants are not fans of notifications because they are simply distracting. You can have notifications every 2 minutes…what’s the plan then?
- Candy Crush and the likes: You need a downtime and turn to your smartphone for a little relief. Just one level is what you tell yourself…40 minutes later, you aren’t near the end of that level and your brain is probably more stressed out.
- The false idea of multi-tasking: Driving and texting, very bad. Eating and texting, very bad. Working and texting, also very bad. That’s not multi-tasking: that’s just not paying attention to the important stuff.
What are we preaching? Balance. Let there be a balance between the use of smartphones and actual productive working or resting hours. While at work, remain productive and ensure your smartphone does not distract you from your primary duties, while at home have some smartphone downtime and get some rest. At Kimberly Ryan, we are not against technology and smartphones. We do not believe that your connectivity to the internet space is the problem: what we preach is effective management and balance. When we conduct training, team bonding activities and so on, we implore all participants to turn off their phones or ensure it does not ring out. Smartphones distract not just the user/owner, but also the people around at the time. Message and call alerts have a way of breaking the flow and cycle of an effective session. We know technology is here to stay: however, we do also believe we shouldn’t be controlled by it.