Dying phone batteries can be the biggest work place distraction

  • 66% of mobile phone users experience anxiety if they lose their mobile phone or run out of battery.
  • Stress levels induced by phone related anxiety are comparable to wedding jitters and moving house.
  • Over 25s use their phone 264 times each day, and those aged between 15 – 24 use it 387 times.
  • The intense, irrational fear of being out of contact has been associated with separation anxiety.
  • The anxiousness associated with being without a working mobile phone is known as nomophobia.
  • Do you or your staff suffer from nomophobia? Take the test?

Many company bosses are against personal mobile phone use in the work place because of the assumption that employees will be distracted from the job in hand with interruptions from the outside world. However, in reality, employees are actually more distracted when they can’t have access to their phone, especially when it is out of charge.

Whilst personal phones should have nothing to do with the workplace, it is worth recognising that 66% of people suffer from nomophobia (a form of anxiety created by being without a working mobile phone). As with all phobias, nomophobia can raise stress levels, affect concentration and distract from the task in hand, making it very much a work place issue.

Here we take a look at our relationship with our smart phones, and how it can affect productivity in the work place.

How does the lack of mobile charge affect productivity in the office?

Smart phones are an integral part of day to day life for many of us, especially millennials,  who as recent findings from The Bank of America reveal, engage with their smart phones more than they do with actual humans.

Whilst it can be annoying to see employees surreptitiously texting under their desks, it is worth understanding that nomophobia is an addiction of sorts. Even the lightest phone user can find themselves at sea without their mobile, especially if they are the main point of contact for a child at school or a dependent family member. Being uncontactable can be surprisingly stressful, and can ultimately set the tone for the working day.

To highlight this point, we carried out a piece of independent research to look further into how people use their phones.

When asked how much people thought that they interacted with, or thought about their phones throughout the day, a staggering 95% of people didn’t even realise that they were doing it.

Consider these results alongside the fact that 66% of people suffer from nomophobia, and there is clearly a gap in the awareness of how much we actually engage with our smart phones, especially in the workplace.

Download the results of our survey here.

Are your staff affected by nomophobia? Take the test.

The best way to determine the extent to which an individual is affected by nomophobia is by taking this test. As with any kind of addiction, acknowledging that it is a problem is often the first step, with this in mind, it may be worth distributing the ISU questionnaire amongst employees to determine the level of nomophobia in your office.

Simply answer the following questions, rating them on a scale of 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree). Download here.

Recognising nomophobia at work

Aside from realising that nomophobia can be a real concern for employees, managers can further help address the issue with these three simple steps:

  • Encourage staff to take the test to determine how much they are affected by nomophobia.
  • Ensure that there are adequate charging facilities in the workplace. This will help make sure that depleted batteries are the last thing that employees should be thinking about whilst at work.
  • Set out realistic guidelines as to when it is ok for employees to use their phone. For example, during breaks and with special considerations for ‘one off’ circumstances.

Mobile charging in the workplace

Although some employees may have their own personal chargers in the office, this won’t particularly relieve the issue, here’s why:

The best way to ensure ‘one size fits all’ charging needs is to provide wireless charging, such as CMD’s Porthole Qi

This type of charging hub is perfect for employees to easily charge on the go. As it sits flush onto the desk (fitted in through the grommet hole) it takes up no room and is ideally situated in a communal area. In the instance that a particular mobile device isn’t compatible with the Porthole Qi, the Wave Wireless Charging Receiver will ensure that they work together.

Five tips to share with your employees

The answer to prevent nomophobia and other mobile phone related worries is to ensure that you don’t lose contact in the first place. Encourage employees to familiarise themselves with the following tips: 

  • Make sure your phone is fully charged before you leave the house.
  • Carry a battery booster with you at all times.
  • Keep your phone out of sight and temptation of pickpockets; carry it in an inside pocket or zipped up handbag and don’t put it down in public places, eg. on a restaurant table.
  • Record a personalised voicemail message so that callers know that they have got the correct number.
  • Contact your network provider when travelling out of the country to ensure your phone works whilst abroad.

Offering provisions for employees to easily charge their phones will immediately remove any cause for anxiety. Factor in realistic guidelines as to when and where employees can access their phones during the working day and you will be well on your way to create a connected, yet equally productive workforce.