How Smart Phones affect Communication and Employee Performance

Employee PerformanceI love technology, but it seems that the more time people spend on Smart Phones the less effective they are at actually communicating.  There is a new breed of adults that love their smart devices (a little too much if you ask me).  Go to a movie, concert, restaurant, bowling alley, work place, highway, park, or any other place where people gather.  It looks like a scene from “Dawn of the Dead“.  Ever go to a restaurant with a friend or co-worker lately?  B O R I N G !!!  Having lunch with someone that is obsessed with this little box in front of them.  One or twice they decide to show me something on their little screen.  I am thinking to myself, “whatever they are about to show me must be something incredible”, but it never seems to be that important or amusing to be worth the rudeness they exhibited.

So why do these “walking dead” stare at these devices?

  • Social laziness – it’s easier to stare at that device then to have polite conversation.  It’s a license to be rude.  It takes effort to communicate. contribute to a conversation, or acknowledge another person.
  • Insecurity – they are broadcasting their comments on social media and they want to make sure someone makes a comment or likes it.  If that happens, they feel important and accepted.  This new found self worth is like a drug and they must have more.
  • Lack of Social Skills – some people were never taught things like looking at someone when they talk to you.  Because of their lack of manners, they are oblivious to their rudeness.
  • Novelty hasn’t worn off yet – I have known some really wonderful people that I would normally categorize as polite considerate people.  When they get their first smart phone they became obsessed with it.  In a lot of cases this wears off, but not always.

A person with poor social skills is a bad communicator and this limits an employee’s performance in the workplace.   Organizations should be very concerned about how this affects their overall productivity.  Policies about smart phones in the work place or at company events should exist and most importantly be enforced.

Want to share your comments about this, we welcome it.  Tell us your stories.

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