Tips on how to reduce amount of time employees waste on mobiles

The average UK worker already spends nearly two and a half hours browsing on their mobile each week, with the fear of this amount of time increasing due to remote working, a business telecommunications provider have given their top tips on how to avoid wasting time scrolling through your mobile whilst working.

Research by 4Com found that UK employees tend to spend two hours and 20 minutes on their mobiles when they should be working. More than three-quarters (77 per cent) of workers admitted they spend time on their mobile when they are meant to be working. The stats equate to 28 minutes being spent on their mobile every workday.

Mark Pearcy, head of marketing at 4Com, offers five top tips to avoid time-wasting on your mobiles whilst remote working:

  • Hide your phone, but keep the volume up

“Mobile phones are an essential part of work for many people, but you can avoid the temptation of using it for non-work purposes by leaving it out of sight, but keeping the volume up so you can be aware of any emails, messages or calls that come through and need a response. You can interact with your phone when on a break, as it’s never been more important to keep in touch with loved ones, but having your phone physically away from your workstation prevents you from browsing and interacting with it while you’re supposed to be working.”

  • Make lunch breaks mandatory

“When working from home, you may not take your full lunch break as you would when in the office in a normal routine. However, lunch breaks are the perfect time to browse your phone, keep up to date with social media or ring a friend or family member, so it’s important to take that time away from your desk every day. Using this hour away from work will help you feel happier, and less inclined to browse your phone during working hours.”

  • Communicate with colleagues

“Send your team regular updates including what you’re currently working on or if you need help with a certain task. Also encourage chats and conversations via email or the likes of Google Hangouts. Not only will this prevent you from browsing your phone, but it is also a great way of boosting happiness and communication among your team – especially needed at this time.”

  • Download scheduling apps

“Downloading scheduling apps, such as Google Keep or Todoist, is another great way of minimising distractions and boosting your motivation. These apps allow you to clearly see the tasks you have to do and the time in which they need to be done, which will help keep you on track.” 

  • Try video calls

“If you have weekly calls with your colleagues from home, it may be tempting to lose focus and spend your time browsing your phone whilst someone else is speaking, but if you encourage video calling, this eliminates the problem. After all, you won’t want to be seen looking at your phone while on a video call, will you? Plus, this will help you be more present in the meeting too.”

UK businesses lose out on 4.6 days per year due to time wasted on phones and six and a half months over an employee’s lifetime.

Additional research from Guardian Support, an employment law, HR and health and safety consultancy for employers and businesses discovered that having a personal phone to hand at work has a 48 per cent negative impact on workers’ quality of work.

Mr Pearcy said:

Our research shows that UK businesses are losing out on five working days per year due to employees browsing their devices. It is therefore important that workers try to eliminate distractions as much as possible, not only to boost productivity but to prevent wasting company time too. Hopefully, our tips will help workers stay focused during this time to retain a positive work-life balance.

These results were gathered by a survey of 2,000 UK office workers carried out by The Leadership Factor (TLF) a customer experience measurement and research on behalf of 4Com.





Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.