I just don’t get it. At work I see people constantly texting. In meetings they are typing messages (and often receiving phone calls and walking out of the meeting). When I am talking to people they will sometimes pull out their phones and start a text. At people’s desks the phone is often sitting out within easy reach.
I understand why I see so many people texting – you are all addicted. What I don’t understand is why employers allow it to go on while people are supposed to be “on-the-job”.
I know that most employers allow infrequent personal calls. Perhaps a call from home once in a while to make after work plans or a call to the bank or another business since there are somethings that can only be done from 8 to 5.
This constant texting, however, is much more insidious. It would be like an employer allowing people to bring their friends to work and talk with them while they are working. Granted, if you are working at a counter, you could probably do your job just fine talking to your friends when people weren’t there, but even that would not look professional. And texting while you’re working does not look professional.
For people who are doing other work such as preparing reports, doing analysis, or writing reports texting must cause a big drop in productivity. Tasks such as these require focus and concentration. If someone is constantly stopping to read and answer comments from their friends, they can’t possibly be doing their most productive work. Studies have also shown that it is not just the time spent on the text. It takes time to refocus after being interrupted, so as many as five minutes could be lost each time someone is distracted by something else. Get 30 texts a day, and there is little time left.
I can feel the collective eye rolling from those of you who have actually made it this far in the post (the rest of you got a text and are still working on the first paragraph). “I’m different. I can multitask. It doesn’t affect my work” you say. That’s what everyone with an addiction says (talk to some people and they will tell you they can drive better after a few drinks).
Try this. Leave your phone in your car for the next week (I say a week because it will take many of you a few days to get over the withdrawal symptoms) and see if you don’t get more done at work. If I am right, make this a practice and you’ll become the superstar at work since everyone else will be texting and you’ll become the person who gets things done. Also, I’ll bet you’ll notice that you almost never have a text that can’t wait for lunch or after work.
If you run a business and allow texting, please share your thoughts. I’d love to know why you allow it to go on.
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