It is safe to say that smartphones are a big part of our lives. We are constantly bombarded with advertisements about them, watching films and television shows with people using them and actually seeing them in use by people in the real world (and more likely than not you are probably using a smartphone at this moment). It seems for many people it would be difficult to live without a smartphone (myself included). But in terms of productivity, are smartphones hurting or helping in the workplace?
Breaking Down the Numbers
So just how many of us have smartphones? According to the Pew Research Center, 90% of American adults own a cell phone and 58% of American adults own smartphones. Pick 10 adults around you and 6 of them will likely have a smartphone, which is crazy to think about! Nowadays you will be a minority if you do not have a smartphone.
In terms of emails, smartphones make it so easily accessible to check, read, and reply to emails. Typically more than 25% of of emails are read on a smartphone now (and 49% of emails are now opened on a mobile device rather than a work computer, including smartphones and tablets). Also, 30% of consumers now read their emails exclusively on their mobile devices. So people are switching from using their computers to using mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) to check and reply to emails.
Smartphones in the Workplace
So yes we know that smartphones make our work so much easier because we can access it almost anywhere we go. But is it actually helping in the workplace? Most people would argue that yes smartphones are an essential tool to workplace communication because people are always on the go nowadays. But how do we weed out the people who use smartphones to their advantage and not in productive ways? That is a question we will have to figure out.