Is Cell Phone Addiction Costing Employers?

The Statistics

Cell phone and social media usage skyrocketed in the past years; the statistics nearly doubling in the United States since 2012. As of January 2018, 95% of Americans own a cellphone, and 77% own a smartphone. As shown in the data below, 68% of US Adults use Facebook, 74% of which utilize the social media platform on a daily basis.

Impact in the Work Place

Cell phone and social media usage has a large impact on workplace productivity. Based on a study done at OfficeTeam, the average employee spends nearly an hour a day using their cell phone for personal reasons. This means almost five hours out of each work week is spent on cell phones. The employee is not only wasting time, they are losing the company money. Get yourself and your employees back on track by having a cellphone policy and designated cell phone breaks.

Companies such as United by Blue and Maple Holistics explain the expectation of the cell phone policy as common sense. Leaving your phone on silent, only using it when absolutely necessary for short periods of time. Another aspect to consider is cell phone usage while driving, if your industry is revolved around transportation. In 2012, Coca Cola Refreshments USA, Inc was sued for over $21 Million because of a distracted driving incident. NiSoruce recently implemented the cell phone policy to eliminate distracted driving and the companies safe driving performance improved by 13%. Not only is this keeping employees safe, it is decreasing the risk and liability for employers.

Call to Action as an Individual:          

Limit social media usage: doing things such as breaking the habit of checking social media every day, or deleting apps from your cell phone and only checking from a computer will help drastically decrease usage on a day to day basis. Use apps such as Moment, Offtime, and Breakfree to limit cell phone usage

Put phones away when in social settings: how often do you ignore the ones you are with because of mindlessly scrolling on social media or texting. Be more socially aware, converse and communicate with the ones around you and increase human interaction. This will also help you feel more life satisfaction, decrease feelings of isolation, and maintain healthy relationships

Be mindful at work: leave your phone in your desk or briefcase to increase productivity, and lower stress levels.


Call to Action as an Employer:

Cell Phone Policies: Implement effective cell phone policies in the workplace to increase productivity and to keep your employees accountable. Make sure the policy is in writing and is communicated properly to employees.

Limiting Usage: Limit allowed cell phone usage to only during breaks, lunch, and emergencies; do not allow cell phones during meetings, or while the employee is at his or her desk.

Understand the effects: employees using email to send pictures, or using the wifi on mobile devices can significantly slow the platform for hours

On the road policies: do not ask nor expect employees to answer the phone or call into conference calls while on the road. Not only is this dangerous for the individual, it is a liability for the employer.




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