- An OfficeTeam survey of 300 U.S. workers found that they waste, on average, 56 minutes a day using their cell phone or other mobile device on non-work-related activities. Respondents admitted spending 42 minutes daily doing personal tasks.
- The survey results conclude that employees could be squandering more than eight hours a week on personal tasks.
- Other survey results show that workers ages 18 to 34 spent up to 70 minutes on their mobile devices and 48 minutes doing personal tasks every day. Male workers (32%) check their cell phones for non-work emails, while female workers (33%) check social media.
Employers expect workers to experience some distraction on the job. Access to personal tech naturally brings with it the temptation to shop, text, play games and send emails on company time, especially around the holidays.
One thing employers can do? Set policies to reduce losses in productivity. Blocking social media, entertainment and other sites that are likely to cause problems is one solution. However, stopping workers from using their personal devices to go on company-blocked sites might be useless.
There's also the issue of surveillance. With an estimated 86% of employees using their personal cell phones at work, the line between private and public can be consequently blurred Many employers stopped monitoring workers' time online as the workplace has become more digitized. And in the era of the Internet of Things, the security of personal data has begun to trouble IT workers.
Tracking employees' time is a monumental task, but managers who suspect some employees are using too much company time for personal pursuits can work around this by setting hard deadlines and concrete goals. This serves the dual purpose of improving engagement at work and allowing for the opportunity to create incentives.