Cell Phones and Productivity at Work: How bad is it?

Cell phones have become a problem at work. It doesn’t matter whether you are working in an office, at home or outdoors. Some are employed while others work on their own. Productivity is greatly affected by time.

With the introduction of smartphones, most of our time is used up scrolling the phone. Cell phones are silent productivity killers. Unlike drugs or alcohol that will be clear to everyone that you are wasting your life, cell phones keep your decency while they destroy your productivity.

However, the big question is how bad is the problem of cell phones killing our productivity at work? Is the problem worth worrying about? What can we do to make things better? The answers to these questions will help us discover the secret killing machine that nobody pays attention to.

Are Cell Phones Responsible for Poor Productivity at Work?

Almost every working adult has a cell phone. How frequently each person checks for updates on his phone varies from person to person. However, the bottom line is most people check their phones frequently. Is this the beginning of the productivity disease?

The truth is a bit different. Most people do check their phones because it feels good. Our minds are wired to give us pleasure. If we don’t like the work we are doing, our minds will find any viable alternative to make us feel good. That is why boring YouTube videos suddenly become interesting when you are at work.

Checking your phone is just one way of your mind telling you it hates the work you are doing. Have you not had instances where you were making stories and you didn’t hear your phone ringing? That is because your mind was enjoying the stories and so it shuts down any distractions.

Blaming cell phones for a decrease in productivity at work is unfair. It is just our nature to look for pleasure at all costs. If you are careful, you will notice that most people who struggle with keeping their phones away while at work don’t like the work they are doing.

Before cell phone came about, most people would pay many visits to the washrooms while at work. Walking to the washrooms at the slightest urge to help ourselves was the only way our minds could find pleasure. The summary is most people hate work and they will do anything to distract themselves.

Cell Phones are Good for Productivity

It sounds ironical to say that cell phones are actually good for productivity. Anyway, that is the truth. Employers may not want to hear this but embracing it will help you solve the productivity problems in your cooperation.

Banning cell phones at work is a bad move for any employer. You will only make your employees waste more time with other activities like storytelling. Cell phones save us a lot of time. Instead of an employee leaving the office 30 minutes before time to get to the bank before it closes, he can simply do banking on his phone in 5 minutes while seated in the office.

Even if he after banking he watches a 10 minute YouTube video, he has saved 15 minutes. Cell phones save a lot of time when it comes to communicating. We are social creatures and we like to be with others. Today, cell phones enable us be with our friends without leaving our work place.

We cannot multitask but we can save a few minutes that we would waste if we went to be with our friends physically. Allow employees time to chat while at work. It is being human. Once our social thirst as humans is satisfied, we can do work with more vigor than before.

Imagine you have to meet your friends on a Friday night. On your desk, you have two articles to proofread. You will focus on finishing the work as fast as you can to catch up with your friends. In the end, you do better.


Some work will definitely demand that employees put away their phones completely. It is stupid to carry your phone to an operation theatre. Also, while at work, there are times when you will have to be away from your phone for you to do any meaningful work.

Allow yourself time to work and then relax and scroll your phone for some time before resuming work. In case your employer demands that you don’t use your phone at particular times, obey the rules. If you hate the rules, go look for another favorable job.

How to be more Productive with your Phone at Work

You will not throw away your phone even after you realize it may be decreasing your productivity at work. You can only find ways to use your phone and still be productive. The first question of course is can someone be productive at work when she has her phone?

Yes. It is very possible to be productive and still use your phone at work. However, it is difficult. You have to learn to quench your thirst for pleasure. The easiest way to quench your thirst for pleasure is by finding work that you love.

When you are doing work that you love, your mind won’t bother you to look at your phone. In other cases, you may not love your work but at least try to love some aspects of it. If you hate writing presentations, at least you love doing research. Pay more attention to the research part to find joy in your work.

Use your phone to increase productivity by timing yourself. Use the timer on your phone to time the basic tasks that you do. Try to break the records you have set before. See it as a fun activity rather that hard work.

Above all, try as much as you can to stay away from your phone while at work. Set the timer on your phone running and see how long you can stay without looking at your phone. Keep doing this daily and increase the time intervals between when you check your phone.

Find Time to Rest

Productivity requires you to have sufficient rest. When you are at home, keep your phone away when you go to bed. Make sure you get sufficient sleep so that your productivity goes up the following day.

Do not let your phone distract your productivity during the day and your rest at night. At least have a good eight-hour rest. Most smartphones today can be automated to shut down at a specific time. Set time when your phone goes automatically off to allow you to have a peaceful night sleep.


Your phone is a blessing and it saves you so much time. Do not allow it to become the object of your downfall. Productivity depends on your character and not the tools around you. If you work towards being more productive, nothing will be a distraction. Fix your character not your phone if you want to be productive at work.