A survey of 1,000 people has found over two-thirds of employees admitted their personal phone does have an impact on their attention span, distracting them from work.
Without being under the watchful eye of colleagues and management, the shift to remote working has allowed employees to adapt their working routine significantly. The research found that the smartphone obsession doesn’t end at work either, with over half of Brits using their mobile phones on the loo and over four-fifths using their phone before they fall asleep.
James Bosley, Marketing Manager at TextAnywhere, who commissioned the research, comments: “We often talk of people being ‘glued to their phones’, without quite realising the truth behind it. The Research highlights that only 2% of households in the UK do not have a mobile phone, with people often owning more than one mobile phone.”
“In an increasingly digital world, mobile phones help to keep us connected both at work and in our personal lives too. Receiving updates via text or scheduling calls with friends and family has been a lifeline for many who have lived alone during the pandemic.”
“Beyond communication, we depend on our smartphones for day-to-day activities like making payments or searching for queries online, and finding locations. For this reason, having a mobile phone to hand has become second nature for many, and it can often feel more unnatural to go a day without one!”
Whilst mobile phones can be seen as a distraction at work for staff who are constantly receiving (and replying to) messages, mobile phone activity and dependency will vary from person to person and so implementing a company-wide ban could create more problems.
Julie Lock, Head of People at Mitrefinch added: “Many employers will panic about the use of mobile phones during working hours and meetings, and the impact this has on productivity. But, if remote working is going to continue beyond Covid-19 then trust must be established by employers, rather than a culture that closely monitors its staff from home.”
“It’s also important to acknowledge how challenging the past 15-18 months have been for everyone, as the boundaries between work and home have been blurred and recent reports are now identifying an ‘overtime epidemic’. It could be helpful for management to review their policies at work moving forward and ensure they fit the needs of a changed workforce. If mobile phone activity is not negatively impacting business success, then what is the imposed risk here? Mobile phones are so interconnected in our daily lives, and so setting out a more relaxed approach could offer more benefits to the company as a whole.”