Is Your Cell Phone Killing Your Productivity At Work?

By Kaytie Zimmerman, Forbes

Recently I had to run into a retail store to try on a pair of shoes. I had left my phone in the car, thinking I would be in and out quickly. As soon as the associate left to retrieve my shoe size, I was uncomfortable because I didn’t have my phone to keep me entertained. I started pacing back and forth, wondering if the sales associates were getting suspicious of me, wringing my hands without anything to do for a few minutes. My phone is attached to me and is an integral part of nearly every behavior in each day.

I’m not alone either. This is typical millennial behavior. According to OpenMarket, 83% of millennials open text messages within 90 seconds of receiving them. Most of us have had a phone attached to us since our school days, with the number of tasks we complete with said phone increasing each year.

What used to only make phone calls and send text messages, now does our banking, shopping, fitness measurements, and plays music. Further, our cell phones are not only used for personal activities, but for work.

While I am convinced some apps make us more productive, I searched to find out if the cost outweighed the benefit. In other words, we multitask so much with our phones, that it may be killing our productivity at work.

First, it’s important to understand that our phones have an impact on our mental health and emotions. Studies have shown that dopamine responses in the brain cause us to engage in pleasure seeking behavior as it relates to phone usage. We send a message and seek a response, or search for information and are rewarded with the answer.

There is actually a name for this cell phone addiction and it’s called nomophobia. If we are addicted to the alerts and messages our phone provide, it would make sense that it could be impacting our work.