Boss Says Personal Phone Is Distracting You at Work

Cellphone at work
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Most employers — 75 percent of them, to be exact — believe that at least two hours of productivity are lost every day due to distracted employees, according to a new survey.

The most common productivity killer? Cellphones and texting, employers tell CareerBuilder.

The job website’s national survey polled 2,186 hiring managers and human resource professionals and 3,031 full-time U.S. workers in the private sector across industries and company sizes.

Among workers with smartphones, 82 percent admitted to keeping the devices within eyesight while at work, and 66 percent said they use them at least several times during the workday. Yet only 10 percent believed that hurts their productivity at work.

Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder, explains:

“While we need to be connected to devices for work, we’re also a click away from alluring distractions from our personal lives like social media and various other apps. The connectivity conundrum isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it needs to be managed.”

Among workers who use their smartphone at work for nonwork purposes, the most common types of websites they visit on their phone while at work were:

  1. Personal messaging
  2. Weather
  3. News
  4. Games
  5. Shopping
  6. Traffic
  7. Gossip
  8. Sales
  9. Adult
  10. Dating

Smartphones are hardly the only workplace distraction, however. The 10 productivity killers most commonly cited by employers were:

  1. Cellphone/texting
  2. The internet
  3. Gossip
  4. Social media
  5. Co-workers dropping by
  6. Smoke breaks or snack breaks
  7. Email
  8. Meetings
  9. Noisy co-workers
  10. Sitting in a cubicle

And then there are the most unusual of productivity killers.

CareerBuilder asked employers about “the most unusual or most memorable things” they’ve caught a worker doing while on the clock. Employers’ responses included:

  • Working on a scrapbook.
  • Decorating a cubicle with chains of paper clips.
  • A worker who brought her equipment for her embroidery business from home and was making items to sell at a craft show.
  • Doing “doughnuts” in the parking lot in the snow.
  • A worker who brought in a kitten she found outside and tried to keep it quiet within a large purse.
  • A worker who worked on her child’s school project that included uncooked macaroni noodles.
  • Watching YouTube videos of people shoving marshmallows in their mouths.
  • Doing some personal grooming in the break room.
  • Searching Craigslist for dates.

Do you believe your smartphone hurts your productivity at work? Let us know below or on Facebook.

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