Smart Devices Provide Plenty of Workplace Distractions

Cell Phone Distractions in the Workplace

Many small business owners consider that mobile phones are productivity killers. If you also do the same, you’re right in your observation.

According to a new survey from Truce Software, 34% of employees have 1-2 mobile apps set up to send alerts. And needless to say, constant mobile alerts can distract employees, affecting their performance.

So there is no surprise that 89% of employees, as the survey finds, attempt to block distractions by putting their mobile phones in the silent mode.

Considering the fact that your employees use only 27% of their day doing skilled work, you will definitely want to increase their productivity. And limiting workplace distractions can be one way to do so.

What’s more, blocking distractions or adopting safe use of mobile devices can also boost the safety of your employees. This is because 51% of workers receive work-related calls during their commute, sates the survey.

Workplace Distractions Are a Big Challenge

Workplace distractions are a big challenge. 80% of workers have some level of automated alerts set on, according to the survey. As a result, they receive notifications throughout the day.

Cell Phone Distractions in the Workplace
Image Source: Truce Software

Once workers have received notifications, there is an urge to respond, adding to distractions. In fact, 15% of employees respond right away, and 25% of employees wait for a break to respond.

Workplace Distractions Hurt Productivity

Even if employees wait for responding, notifications often constantly bother them until they respond. So constant notifications can hamper your employees’ productivity.

Joe Boyle, CEO, TRUCE Software, said in his prepared statement, “The majority of respondents (89%) admit they put their phone on silent mode at various times throughout the workday just to minimize the interruptions,”

“While this is a promising statistic, the challenge to keep distractions at bay is exacerbated with more than 80% of respondents admitting they have some level of automated alerts set up on their phones, sending them alerts throughout the day – many of which are non-work-related,” he added.

Though in-person meetings are often a productivity drag for small businesses, you cannot ignore such meetings completely. Off and on, you have to organize meetings in order to convey your growth strategy or share your next business objective.

24% of employees, according to the survey, have hidden their mobile phones while participating in a meeting to check messages or chat with coworkers. So unnecessary notifications can lower your meetings’ productivity.

What’s more, 57% of employees lingered more in the restroom to check messages or watching something on their phones. This reduces their personal productivity.

Workplace Distractions Can Affect Workplace Saftey

Unsafe behavior regarding mobile device usage on the job can put your employees’ safety on the line.

In fact, 18% of employees have felt embarrassed by bumping into someone or tripping while checking their mobile phones. Also, many workers receive work-related calls while driving to or from office.

“The extent to which we are tied to our devices, all day, at work and at home is the reason behind a holiday like National Day of Unplugging,” commented Mr. Boyle.

How to Minimize Workplace Distractions

As a small business owner, you should try to minimize, workplace distractions to boost the productivity and safety of your employees.

Here are some tips that can help you minimize workplace distractions:

  • Make a policy to limit technology interruptions
  • Take the help of technology to adopt the safe use of mobile devices
  • Educate your employees
  • Get your employees coached for self-management skills

Cell Phone Distractions in the Workplace

Truce surveyed 1500 workers across the United States to know about their mobile phone usage.

Click here to know more about the survey or you can have a look at the infographic below to understand cell phone distractions in the workplace.

Cell Phone Distractions in the Workplace


Sandeep Babu Sandeep Babu is a cybersecurity writer. He writes about malware, data security, privacy, and other cybersecurity topics for SBT and other reputed platforms.