Mobile overuse hinders long-term employee productivity

Employers need to manage the time employees spend on their mobile devices outside of work hours, with experts warning of the need to avoid employee burn-out.

According to Kelly Executive, mobile devices allow employees to be contactable outside working hours. Employees have increased flexibility in their schedules, however this can mean they run the risk of working longer hours for no real gain.

For employers, mobile devices reduce response times, lower costs, improve customer service and can in theory, enhance employee efficiency.

While continuous communication may increase productivity in the short-term, the risk of a long-term burn-out for employees is high. According to Kelly Executive General Manager Sally Charles, some employees feel obliged to stay contactable after hours and cannot step outside the work frame of mind.

“Employees may feel that they are unable to escape work and they may begin feeling powerless about the pace of job goals and tasks. Technology offers greater convenience but can potentially fuel the flames of stress that may cause more mistakes.”

Charles urges employers to be aware of the dangers of mobile overuse.

“It is possible that employers may abuse the capability of these mobile devices, even inadvertently. It is crucial that employers communicate the importance of rest and down time outside of work to avoid these issues.”

However, an employee should also do their part to ensure they are not overworked.

“Employees also need to take responsibility for managing their time and prioritising to ensure they are able carry out their job role within designated working hours,” Charles said.

While clearly there are times employees are required to work after hours, this should not be the norm. Most employers give out mobiles for added convenience, but the expectation is not that employees are always switched on.

“Employees needn’t be afraid to speak up if they feel they are being overworked.”

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