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How smartphone usage is impacting our workplace


How smartphone usage is impacting our workplace

In Britain, there are at least 46.6 million smartphones according to a study released by Statista. In January 2017, the Labour Force Survey found that there were 31.85 million people in employment. When there are 10.55 million more smartphones per user than there are employees in the UK, it becomes clear how and why the smartphone has changed our day-to-day working practices — but is it for better or for worse?

Smartphones can also disrupt a good night sleep — seven out of ten people within the 18-24 bracket check their device throughout the night. This post-digital generation are likely to shape the way smartphones are incorporated into working practices in the future.

Reports said that it can cause distraction in the workplace if smartphones are used, but what are the benefits? Print management software company United Carlton have carried out this research to find out:

Reactions from employers on smartphone usage

Negative views on smartphone usage are usually given by business owners. This is down to the fact that most employers simply view the smartphone as a distraction that reduces an employee’s ability to complete a task by up to 20 minutes at a time.

Employers of a small team like to be careful when it comes to writing a company policy on smartphone usage – with fear that employees might become less productive which will later impact the company. However, to counteract this, they suggested that employers ‘should simply show them the math and staff are likely to co-operate because they don’t want to see the company go under or lose their job.’

Throughout a full day, research suggests that smartphone users take up 90 minutes of their day using their device.

80% of employees said that they thought it was wrong to read a message or send a text when in company with colleagues – 11% of people said it wasn’t acceptable to have their smartphone turned on during a meeting according to research carried out by the University of Surrey. Although, this may be because employees and employers alike are preoccupied in working practices that discourage the use of smartphones, and don’t yet realise the productivity benefits that a younger generation of smartphone users can accrue for business.

The productivity benefits of using smart technologies

If employees are to bring their own device (BYOD) to work, and employers are willing to adopt a BYOD culture within the workplace, this could save employers time which therefore helps to boost productivity. When employees are connected to a wireless internet network, they are able to complete tasks in ways that do not limit them to sitting at a desk or having to be in the office.

Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group commented: ‘The average BYOD user across countries saves 37 minutes per week thanks to using their own device.’ This is because these users are working on the go and between ‘dead-times’ in the office when they aren’t stationed at a computer. More research suggests that in America, smartphone users saved 81 minutes per week by using smart technologies at work – German users only saved four minutes. Contrary to popular belief, this suggests that globally, smart devices can aid rather than detract from productivity saving efficiencies. Furthermore, if smart device users are able to implement their own technologies into their working practices, then they are more likely to take work home with them – as these employees are working an extra two hours every day and sending 20 more emails every day. For example, many members of staff are now able to use their smartphone as a mobile printing device; when there is an compatible printer in range connected to the network, users can print from their device without the need to install software to do so. This frees up time during the day as users can print from anywhere in the office, without having to be stationed at their desk and printing from a desktop computer. Cloud storage and printing documents that aren’t saved to hardware are also freeing up the flexibility of working practices and allowing employees to work in ways that weren’t previously possible.

However, this is the reason why employers have become reductant to the idea of a BYOD culture in the workplace. If companies were willing to incorporate a BYOD culture, then they may see what some research validates as being a 16% boost in productivity over a 40-hour week, a 23% rise in job satisfaction and a 21% rise in company loyalty. If businesses aren’t willing to incorporate change into outdated processes, then perhaps these operational efficiencies may not be experienced by many for years to come.

I am the founder of Startup Today. I am the main writer and have put in many hours of work into creating this blog. If you want to find out more about me then lets get in contact.

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