Should you ban smartphones in your business?

I will admit that I am addicted to my smartphone - there, I said it. Quite frankly, I am becoming addicted to my smartwatch too, but I digress. You see, I am not alone in this, as many people seem glued to their devices nowadays. However, I know to put away my devices when it is time to work. Sadly, many people use their smartphones for personal reasons as they do their job. If I go to Starbucks, the barista is usually distracted by her iPhone, and I end up with the wrong drink - I'll be like "listen lady, I wanted a venti, not a grande, hop off of that Instagram, yo!"

Sadly, this seems to be plaguing society, but businesses are getting hit hard; employees are too damn distracted! Today, a new report explains that a large amount of the workforce is distracted by technology. Should employers start banning smartphones and tablets at work?

"Today's workforce is more productive than ever, but the inability to focus is running rampant in the workplace. New data released today by Virgin Pulse, the market leader in the rapidly-growing employee health engagement category, finds 95 percent of employees report being distracted during the workday. The survey, Driven By Distractions: Why Employees' Focus Is Waning At Work & What You Can Do About It, features responses from 1,000 participants (not Virgin Pulse members). It also revealed that healthy habits, like getting the proper amount of sleep, eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly, help employees stay focused better than old-fashion methods like written to-do lists", says Virgin Pulse.

The company further explains, "for more than half of respondents (54 per cent), it’s their fellow co-workers looking to chat and socialize. Nearly 45 per cent also cited their inability to hone in on what’s important at work stems from technology distractions like email and text messages. Twenty-two percent said personal stress like worries over relationships, family or money inhibits their ability to focus at work".

OK sure, not all of the distractions are technology-driven, but a staggering 45 per cent are! Think about that for a moment -that is productivity and ultimately money being wasted by nonsense. If text messages and other tech-related distractions are so disruptive, it may be time for more employers to ban smartphones and dumb-phones from the workplace.

True, many people have legitimate needs for having a smartphone at work, such as a sick child at home or any family emergency - exceptions can be made. Still, for the majority, maybe they should hand in their smartphone at the start of the day and get it back at quitting time.

What do you think? Should employers ban smartphones and other devices in the workplace? Tell me in the comments.

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