What is the cost of smartphone addiction and distraction on productivity and to employers?

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What is the cost of smartphone addiction and distraction on productivity and to employers?

Hello! Thanks for your question about the cost of smartphone addiction and distraction on productivity and to employers. The sources I found most useful in answering your question are studies from The FSU, Frost & Sullivan, and CareerBuilder. In short, within certain industries — especially those where Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) would be beneficial — using a smartphone at work is quite encouraged and proves beneficial. However, smartphone usage has been seen by employers as detracting (possibly where BYOD isn't a helpful practice). In a CareerBuilder survey involving 2,186 hiring managers/HR professionals and an additional 3,031 full-time workers across various industries, 55% of employers have cited cell phones as the number 1 productivity killer at work. Living and Driving Undistracted (a website dedicated to decreasing smartphone addiction and distraction), says that distracted driving and cell phone addiction costs companies $8 billion, however, it does not supply additional information on how that number was derived. I have provided more statistics below, please read on for details.

RESEARCH FINDINGS
According to all of the research, I found on the subject, there are conflicting reports on the benefits/consequences/cost of smartphone addiction. I was unable to find any report of a cost estimate on either end because this information has not been compiled or researched. Research on smartphone usage has grown in the last few years, but none of the available reports provide dollar-based cost estimates for smartphone usage. Samsung collaborated with Frost & Sullivan to create helpful research on productivity and the usage of smartphones for business.

The last paragraph of the Samsung Insights summary notes a common trend among these reports, that there are positive results for smartphone usage in the workplace, and smartphones are the top personal device for business (73%), but they are not commonly supplied by the employers (only 27%, while 62% supply PCs and 43% supply laptops). This is part of the growing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend in business IT. More often, companies are allowing their employees to use their personal devices (tablets, phones, etc.) and access the corporate network (84%). In light of this, Samsung says that "companies can see dramatic results around productivity, workplace communication, time management and work-life balance — all of which contribute to the bottom line."

However, CareerBuilder provided an opposing report that was based on a survey of 2,186 hiring managers/HR professionals and an additional 3,031 full-time workers across various industries. This report concluded that 1 in 5 employers think their employees are productive for less than five hours per day; 55% of them blamed smartphones as the top distraction. The only standards for some kind of monetary cost figure that I came across were in the CareerBuilder study, though it does not mention any numerical cost. Living and Driving Undistracted (a website dedicated to decreasing smartphone addiction and distraction), published an article that talks about the cost of distracted driving and cell phone addiction to companies, pegging that at $8 billion yearly. However, it does not supply additional information on how that number was derived — citing no studies to elaborate on that figure.

STATISTICS ON THE COST OF EMPLOYEE SMARTPHONE ADDICTION AND DISTRACTION
According to a report from Deloitte, phones are most used in the workplace, followed by shopping which has a 93% usage. In spite of this high numbers, of the 83% of workers who own a smartphone, 65% do not have their work emails on their phones. About 55% of employers have cited cell phones as the number 1 productivity killer at work. Employees who access their smartphones at work for activities not related to work spend their time on these sites:
- Personal Messaging --------- 65%
- Weather ---------------------- 51%
- News ------------------------- 44%
- Games ------------------------ 24%
- Shopping --------------------- 24%
- Traffic ------------------------- 12%
- Gossip ------------------------- 7%
- Sales --------------------------- 6%
- Adult -------------------------- 4%
- Dating ------------------------- 3%

About 75% of employers agree that 2 or more hours is lost daily in productivity because of employees who are distracted; another 43% report a minimum loss of about 3 hours a day. Some negative effects of productivity killers in an organization:
- Work quality could be compromised -------------- 48%
- Other workers' morale is lowered since they'll have to do extra work to cover for the lapses ------------------------- 38%
- Employer/employee relationship is strained ------- 28%
- Deadlines are missed -------------------------------- 27%
- Revenue Loss ---------------------------------------- 26%
- Relationship with client is negatively impacted --- 20%

A journal from Florida State University says that using text messaging while at work increases the probability of making an error. According to the research report, "current study found evidence that cellular notifications, even when one does not view or respond to messages or answer calls, can significantly damage performance on an attention-demanding"

CONCLUSION
In summary, within certain industries — especially those where Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) would be beneficial — using a smartphone at work is quite encouraged and proves beneficial. However, smartphone usage has been seen by employers as detracting (possibly where BYOD isn't a helpful practice). In a CareerBuilder survey involving 2,186 hiring managers/HR professionals and an additional 3,031 full-time workers across various industries, 55% of employers have cited cell phones as the number 1 productivity killer at work. Living and Driving Undistracted (a website dedicated to decreasing smartphone addiction and distraction), says that distracted driving and cell phone addiction costs companies $8 billion, however, it does not supply additional information on how that number was derived. I have provided more statistics above.

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