When it comes to productivity, technology is a double-edged sword. Sure, modern advances in IT can help you and your staff get more work done in less time, keep in touch and collaborate while outside the office, and more; but, at the same time, social media, smartphones and other staples of today’s consumer technology have also made it easier to waste time.
Say you take out your phone to check on a work email you’re waiting for; you notice a Facebook notification and decide to check that while you wait, and before you know it, you’ve been watching a stream of videos in your News Feed for half an hour.
According to a CareerBuilder study, the biggest cause of wasted work hours was texting on cell phones, which has had considerable consequences on businesses:
- Poor work quality due to a lack of focus
- Lower morale among employees that pick up the slack for distracted coworkers
- A lesser return on investment in employee hourly wages
What’s more, according to CFO Daily News, approximately $650 billion per year in the US. Reported in 2010 (a number that has likely grown in recent years given the rising ubiquity of mobile devices), the research performed by Workplace Options found that more than half (53%) of employees say distractions (smartphone use for chatting and visiting websites not related to their work, etc.) directly affect their productivity in the workplace. Furthermore, IT research firm Gartner estimates non-work related Internet surfing results in an approximate 40% loss in productivity among American workers. 40 percent!!
That’s why it’s so important to ensure that you and your staff turn off notifications during work hours! Potential solutions for these issues include:
- Implementing a policy for device free meetings, to boost engagement and morale through social interaction
- Promote single-tasking, and it’s many benefits, such as greater productivity, and work satisfaction
- Practicing turning off notifications for set periods of time using built-in functionality in smartphones (e.g. Do Not Disturb capability)