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08/20/14

Sleep working: Are smart phones hurting our work productivity?

The statistics are in and, not surprisingly, smart phones are all the rage.
More than half of the country now owns a smart phone with nearly 100% owning, at the very least, a cell phone. Those numbers might not be overly shocking given how smart phones have made life so much easier for the masses.
Whether you're checking sports scores, catching up on personal emails, tracking the weather or updating your status via social media, smart phones seem nothing short of heavenly.
But the news on smart phones isn't quite as encouraging, particularly when you consider the impact of these devices as it pertains to productivity in the office.
On one hand, you can argue that productivity and smart phones go hand in hand, as some companies are issuing these types of phones for their managers and supervisors to stay in the loop. A company phone is the great equalizer and a variable that can deter employees from wandering around on the internet or using the phone for personal use. Having high level employees that can stay close to their email, answer calls immediately and send text messages to their own employees to keep them in the loop instantaneously.

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The real productivity, or lack thereof, centers more on personal smart phones being a distraction at the office to the point that work isn't getting done, leaving employers to question everything from work ethic to something as radical as implementing a no phone policy at the office.
Sound as though the smart phones are transforming managers into kindergarten teachers who have to take away phones, put them in their drawer until the end of the day.
Hardly sounds as though smart phones are all the rage in the business world.
Truthfully, smart phones only become a road block if you allow them to be. Studious and pragmatic employees certainly find themselves using their smart phones for recreational use throughout the day, but they don't allow their phones to dictate their work ethic and ability to finish a desire assignment.
On a personal level, some smart phone users have said their obsession with using their devices have cost them valuable time not only at the office but at home. One aspect of becoming obsessed with smart phones is a lack of sleep and a need to check messages at all hours of the night.
Sleep is paramount to stay on course, and not having it isn't going to make you a model employee any time soon.
Your shortcomings when it comes to your smart phone shouldn't be blamed on the phone itself but rather the human element, specifically the decision making behind how it is being used.

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