Smartphones do a plethora of things for us. But if you stopped using them, you might actually start seeing improvements in the work you do.
Smartphones might be helping employees keep in touch with colleagues and do urgent tasks on the move, but using these devices at workplace actually make people less productive, says a new study by the Universities of Würzburg and Nottingham-Trent.
The study, commissioned by Kaspersky Lab, showed that employees’ performance improved 26 per cent when their smartphones were taken away. The experiment tested the behavior of 95 persons between 19 and 56 years of age in laboratories at the universities of Würzburg and Nottingham-Trent.
The experiment unearthed a correlation between productivity levels and the distance between participants and their smartphones. “Instead of expecting permanent access to their smartphones, employee productivity might be boosted if they have dedicated ‘smartphone-free’ time. One way of doing this is to enforce rules such as no phones in the normal work environment,” says Altaf Halde, managing director – South Asia at Kaspersky Lab.
Contrary to expectations, the absence of smartphones didn’t make participants nervous. Anxiety levels were consistent across all experiments. However, in general, women were more anxious than their male counterparts, leading researchers to conclude that anxiety levels at workplace are not affected by smartphones (or the absence of smartphones), but can be impacted by gender.
“Previous studies have shown that separation from one’s smartphone has negative emotional effects such as increased anxiety, but studies have also demonstrated that one’s smartphone might act as a distractor. In other words, both the absence and presence of a smartphone could impair concentration,” said Jens Binder from the University of Nottingham-Trent.