They are ubiquitous. Cell phones. 61% of the global population uses mobile phones, and 25% of the population uses smartphones. Providing many different convenient ways of easy communication - through calls, text messages, emails, social media - Adults spend an average of 58 minutes on their mobile phone a day. And that number is much higher for young adults.
Remember that amount of time isn’t at one sitting, so some of this time on a cell phone is inevitably spent at work. Communicating through these channels is more discreet than on your computer screen. A text message is much more inconspicuous than a phone call which can be heard by your cube mates. This technology is convenient, but are cell phones taking away from productivity at work?
Before taking any action and creating policies around cell phone usage, here are a few things to consider:
We often work with companies who are going through a state of change, and I’ve experienced many of these projects during my management consulting days. Organizational change is tricky, and very few companies are successful at it. In fact, a study done by Towers Watson found that only 25% of companies see long-term success from a change. The study cites communication as part of this failure – about two-thirds of senior managers and only about half of middle managers say they receive the messages.
In so many of the projects we work on, it always comes down to communication. And this makes sense – it’s such a part of human relationships. How many times have you found yourself in an argument with a significant other because of a break in communication? Or how many times have you left a meeting and thought you were all on the same page only to find out everyone had very different takeaways?