Years ago, smoking breaks were considered as the number one problem at workplaces and the main factor of non-productivity. According to a previous study, cigarette breaks add up to a week off of work every year.
The Internet has been around for 25 years, and with the rise of smartphones, the era of the smoking breaks dilemma has ended, only to be replaced by this toxic misused combination: Internet + Smartphones.
72% of smartphone users check their phones at least hourly, whether they are at a business meeting, having lunch or in front of their desktop working. It came to a point, that, if you think of it deeply, humans started to treat these devices as if they were their own babies, and they need to check on them every now and then.
From stream notifications, status updates, business emails, etc. there is the fear of missing out the influx of information flowing constantly.
Phones connect us to the internet and many other valuable services, and it is undeniable that notifications grab our attention. In fact, the color Red assimilated to a pop up notification on our phones, stimulates excitements to the brain.
Study shows, the mere presence of a phone in your workplace can affect your cognitive ability, while we just can’t imagine our lives without those technologies.
If you misuse your phone, you will get less engaged at work. This will lower your productivity and affect, in a negative way, your functionality in the eye of your employers.
It takes 25 min for you to return to your focus on a task after a distraction. So imagine that, by checking your mobile phone once an hour during work time, you will be spending at least 3 hours a day trying to recharge your brain power.
Therefore, and to avoid any kind of distractions, some companies set out some clearly defined rules to restrict the misuse of smartphones during work time, known as “personal device policy.”
Employees and managers are required to read and sign these documents; disciplinary action should be enforced when they fail to adhere to the rules.
For example, employees can benefit from using cell phones as follows:
- To make business calls.
- To check important messages or emails
- To make brief personal calls away from the working space of colleagues.
They can use their phones freely during lunch breaks.
Employees are not allowed to:
- Play games on their cell phone during work hours.
- Use their device in an area where cell use is explicitly prohibited (e.g., some courthouses, laboratories, meetings).
- Disturb colleagues by speaking on their phone for personal reasons during work hours.
Smartphones literally sat on the throne of the number one distraction at work. It is important for you to know, that what’s on your phone can wait until later.
Rarely are the urgent notifications that should interrupt your work or social life.