Employees Aren’t Dialed In When Their Cell Phones Are Out

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Don’t let millennial declarations of multi-tasking prowess fool you. When your employees have their cell phones out, their productivity goes down the drain. That’s the biggest finding in a recent CareerBuilder.com survey of over 2,000 hiring managers and HR professionals and an additional 3,000 full-time workers.

According to the survey, 1 in 5 employers feel their workers are productive for less than five hours a day, and 55% point to cell phones as the cause. Considering 82% of surveyed employees keep their cell phones within eye contact while at work, that’s not too much of a surprise (be honest: where’s yours right now?).

In fact, it’s all things digital that are truly killing productivity. 41% cited the Internet as a productivity killer, with social media coming in at 37% and email at 26%. In total, two or more hours are lost every day because of productivity killers.

When employees are distracted at work, it’s the businesses that employ them that pay the price. 48% stated their quality of work has decreased because of productivity killers, and 26% went so far as to say their revenues decreased because of these workplace distractions. So with the stakes so high, what can companies do about it?

Ban Cell Phones

26% of survey respondents opted to simply ban personal calls and the use of cell phones. It’s not a bad deterrent, and it certainly solves the problem, but it could introduce another productivity killer: upset employees who start to create excuses to leave their desks and look at their phones.

Dedicated Cell Phone Time

Employees may need access to their cell phones just in case something important happens, like a family emergency. But aside from that, employers could look to limit how often employees are looking at their phones by scheduling dedicated cell phone breaks (think of the “text stops” on highways throughout the United States). 24% of survey respondents have taken this approach in the past.

Embrace Cell Phone Usage

Interestingly, only 35% of employees have access to their work email on their smartphones. It’s easy to understand why many may not choose to link their work emails to their personal devices – work-life balance. Considering employees who believe they have strong work-life balance on average work 21% harder than those who don’t, it’s best to protect the separation of home and office.

An approach that may be helpful would be to encourage employees to install email access on their phones, set access times for when they’ll receive messages, and encourage them to install other mobile apps (like unified communications and conferencing solutions). That way, when employees look at their cell phones while at work, their minds will remain on the tasks at hand, not their list of text messages.

Are your employees dialed out at work because of their cell phones? Do you think cell phones actually help employees to stay productive at work? Share this post on Twitter with the hashtag #NoCellZone and let us know.

[tweetthis hashtag=”NoCellZone”]#Employees aren’t dialed in when their cell phones are out. #Productivity #NoCellZone[/tweetthis]

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