Workplace Productivity Is Declining Because We Can’t Stop Checking Our Phones

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Workplace Productivity Is Declining Because We Can't Stop Checking Our Phones

People from all walks of life love their cell phones. My 60-year-old dad stays playing Temple Run during commercial breaks for The Nightly News with Lester Holt. Yeah, it’s an old game but the very fact that he’s playing it is impressive on its own. We’re all dependent on our phones. And yeah, it’s sad that a phone can now make or break a fun night out on the town but I think the overwhelming majority of Americans would agree that owning a smart phone is a necessary evil.

Unfortunately, the over-usage of this technology has now spread so much that it’s affecting the work of those you’d least expect it to.

A report by the Dallas Fed was released this morning, showing a significant decline in factory activity during the month of May. With this decline came serious concerns about an increase in labor costs coupled with a lack of productivity from workers.

I’m not saying that the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas or the companies who are issuing complaints towards new hires are not warranted. There’s a time and a place for everything, and that includes checking up on your timelines and snap stories. But what the Department of Labor fails to give us is some information on the number of people over thirty and forty years old who are doing the same thing as the 23-year-old entry level employee.

The Department of Labor must realize that if we are supposed to pay them overtime for work they should do during normal work this will make us have to focus on micromanaging employees and reducing compensation to reflect actual productivity of a mandated 40-hour or less workweek.”

Look, if someone has an employee that is shirking work so hard that they aren’t meeting quotas or deadlines, by all means, reprimand them. But to act like someone holding an iPhone isn’t going to check social media or text messages periodically throughout the day is bananas. America is moving towards the four-day workweek as it is. And working straight through the day isn’t healthy. For every hour at work, a person needs to take 15 minutes to get up and do something. If that something is looking at memes on Twitter, who the hell cares?

There’s a growing concern among working Americans that the Department of Labor’s recent overtime increase is spiking business costs. This means that employers are being forced to pay employees more money for work that should be done during the mandated 40-hour work week. Are we forgetting about the age old adage “You have to spend money to make money?” If overtime pay is what it’s going to take to get work done, then so be it.

Complaints can only go on for so long until action is taken to increase productivity. A wake-up call may be in order for the 20 and 30-somethings.

A little dramatic, no? It’s not like corporations are about to start firing their largest source of eligible employees. You want to know what happens when you start instituting a no-cell-phone policy in the workplace? Your company goes under because none of the top talent graduating college wants to work for a bunch of uptight stiffs.

I’m confident in the next twenty years, the five-day, 40-hour work week is going to seem barbaric to younger generations. Let the kids have their phones. Checking social media is the only thing keeping them sane as they sit in a windowless cube crunching numbers all day for crotchety executives.

[via Red Alert Politics]

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