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According to a study, using a phone at work reduces stress



According to a study, using a phone at work reduces stress

According to a recent study, using a smartphone for personal usage while at work can reduce stress and levels of friction between work and home life.

The University of Galway and the University of Melbourne carried out the study at the European headquarters of a multinational pharmaceutical corporation.

The unnamed corporation modified its phone policy, moving from a closed-off approach to personal phones to unrestricted use for non-work-related activities.

Prior to the study, only top management was permitted to carry their personal mobile phone into work. The organization had previously outlawed personal phone use in the 1990s.

The study followed 40 employees over the course of a year who took advantage of the new policy and used their personal smartphones at work, and an equal number who upheld a self-imposed prohibition by leaving their phones at home when they entered the workplace.

According to the study, there are advantages to modest mobile phone use at work that don’t significantly affect employee productivity.

Workers who had access to their phones reported a significant reduction in the perceived conflict between work and personal needs when compared to those who did not.

Workers who had access to phones claimed that they could assist their spouses throughout the workday with family matters, which lessened the strain on their relationships.

By distributing personal communications throughout the day, workers avoided feeling overburdened when they retrieved their phones from work.

At the JE Cairnes School of Business and Economics at the University of Galway, Professor Eoin Whelan oversaw the research.

“Rather than enforcing a ban on smartphones in the workplace, our experiences in tracking the introduction of smartphones in this company suggest a more effective strategy would be to establish an organisational climate where the company expectation for smartphone behaviours are known, for example ensuring that they are not used in meetings or in the canteen, with adherence monitored by employees themselves,” Professor Whelan said.

“Managers must realise the unintended consequences of forcing a smartphone ban.

“Preventing phones in the workplace can increase work-life conflict, which in turn has significant implications for work performance, job satisfaction, absenteeism, turnover intentions, as well as general wellbeing,” he added.

The study cited additional data on employees’ personal smartphone use at work. According to some sources, workers check their phones 150 times a day on average and use them for non-work-related purposes for 56 minutes of the workday.


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