Personal smartphone use at work costs businesses cash


Around 120 hours lost per year per employee to personal smartphone use

The average British worker spends as many as 120 hours per year using their smartphones in the workplace, and those working in IT are some of the worst culprits, according to research.

Research of 2,012 UK adults carried out by gadgets and technology etailer, LaptopsDirect, has revealed almost all (96%) of IT workers admit to using their smartphones during working hours.

Altogether, 78% regularly respond to text messages during working hours, and 59% regularly take personal phone calls whilst working. Meanwhile, 52% admit to answering instant messages via platforms such as Whatsapp and Facebook, while 9% have sent a Snapchat from their workplace. More than a third (38%) regularly check their social media accounts while in the workplace.

However, 44% of respondents said their workplace permitted reasonable use of smartphones.

Mark Kelly, marketing manager at LaptopsDirect, said: “It’s no surprise that we are addicted to our smartphones however overuse during working hours can add up, leaving a serious shortfall in productivity. Although companies monitor and prohibit the use of social media during the working day, the research shows that there is still a large amount of people continuing to use their device.

“Use of smartphones and social media in the workplace can lead to hundreds of thousands of hours in lost productivity per year, which could cost UK companies millions of pounds.”

Of those surveyed, 14% have been told off for using smartphones at work, while just 4% have been disciplined for use of their own tech during work time.

The top 10 business sectors that use smartphones at work are: marketing – 98%; information and communications – 96%; creative and photographic – 92%; professional service (law, accountancy) – 86%; trades (construction, plumbing) – 78%; manufacturing – 74%; retail – 64%; transportation – 48%; education – 44%; and healthcare – 23%.


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