A new book The Activity Illusion finds that smartphones are not the answer to all our worries but are in fact the cause of all our worries.
It’s what we all knew, but were afraid to say. Yes the BlackBerry, CrackBerry is more a hinderance than a help. In a new book The Activity Illusion by Ian Price we discover how up to 20% of an organisation’s payroll gets soaked up by ineffective use of email.
The new UK study suggests that merely owning a BlackBerry or similar smartphone vastly increases the amount of time we spend checking messages outside working hours.
The rapid penetration of smartphones has taken place without the establishment of social norms for their use; this has consequences for productivity at work, work-life balance and leadership behaviours. With such technology no longer the status symbol of senior managers in large organisations, we are all at risk of overdoing it.
Author Ian Price collated data from over five hundred workers on the experience of managing work email both with and without BlackBerrys and measured dimensions of stress along with organisational context. Comparisons with the control group suggest the device can, if anything, ease the anxiety of message accumulation but with significant consequences for time spent on email outside working hours.
“This is the first time this has been researched and shows how the way we use technology such as BlackBerry means that we are over-connected with consequences for work-life balance, resilience and productivity. Those with BlackBerry or equivalent spent 2.5 times as long checking emails outside working hours as those without. However, BlackBerry users had email volumes only 13% higher,” says Ian.
What do you think? Are you addicted to your BlackBerry?