Help your employees use their smartphones more productively
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
A smartphone can be an incredibly helpful tool in helping your employees get their work done better and faster in many ways. Or...not so much.
As a manager, you want to encourage your workers to engage with their technology in ways that benefit their productivity and avoid becoming distracted by their devices in ways that can affect your bottom line.
So how do you do this? Use these science-tested tips to encourage great results:
Figure out each employee's smartphone "type."
Researchers from Binghamton University reported that smartphone users fall into specific categories directly linked to whether they use their devices productively or destructively. These categories are: thoughtful user, regular user, highly engaged user, fanatic user, and addict.
Those employees who fall into one of the more compulsive categories are more likely to cause project disruptions in the workplace, as they are distracted by their phones much too easily.
Meet with your workers and ask them to identify their own "category" — taking into account your own observation of their phone behavior as well — and offer individual constructive criticism on how they can improve their focus on work-related duties, cutting out personal distractions.
Ask your workers to take the "pupil" test.
Cornell University researchers are currently working on a tool that tests worker productivity through smartphone photographs of a worker's pupils. A dilated pupil signals alertness; a constricted pupil indicates drowsiness.
Kick off a fun but informative office drive by asking your employees to take selfies of their faces at different points in their workday for a week — this way, they can track the times of the day they are most alert and productive and shift key tasks to those times of the day.
Don't contact your employees after hours after hours if you can help it.
Research from the University of Texas at Arlingtonfound that employees who are forced to deal with work communication on their mobile devices while at home often bicker more with their spouses, then bring that tension back into work the next day.
The result: less team cooperation. Allow your employees that technological break from work so they can enjoy being at home and so they can recharge right for tomorrow.
Encourage smartphone fun the right way.
Kansas State University research found that taking short breaks throughout the workday to text a friend or family member or play a game has a great effect on subsequent productivity. Give your group permission to use their phones as a scheduled distraction, especially during heavy work periods leading up to a project deadline.
Be a great example.
Allow your workers to see you using your own smartphone responsibly. You set the tone here, as you do in all aspects of your team's work environment — follow these tips yourself and you'll do an even more inspirational job!
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