The emergence of cell phones especially those with advanced technology like the blackberries, ipads, ipods and camera phones in the market place has resulted to creation of new challenges to employers especially regarding the sue of such phones at work place. Many workers carry personal phones to work place in order to keep in touch with their loved ones hence policies regarding their use are still not comprehensive hence such phones can be misused at work place resulting to lost time that workers should be spending working instead. The time lost by workers resulting from their phone use leads to lost productivity for the company or the organization. Many employees spend a lot of time using personal phones to surf the internet especially considering the fact that the recent explosive use of social sites like face book and tweeter hence a lot of employees log onto such sites during working hours as the regulations regarding use of personal phone are minimal leading to lost time (Armstrong, & Overton, 1977).
In addition to that employees also spend time sending text messages using their phones. With the advent of the camera phones many employees also use them to take photos at workplace which at time may result to affecting other workers negatively .for instance the issues of sexual exploitation through taking of photos of others with out their permission may lead to lost time through court cases and conflict resolutions hence expenditure and reduced productivity for the company. The use of personal phones at work place makes it easy for the naughty employees to access explicit sites and circulate pornographic materials to other employees at workplace leading to a lost time and hence affecting the organization negatively.
Statement of the Problem
The advent of advanced models of phones has resulted to unregulated use at workplace which employees tend to misuse them for personal gains like accessing of social sites through the internet options hence resulting to lost time at workplace. Also the camera phones leads to unfavorable working conditions workplace especially with special regards to sexual exploitation hence lost time, reduced performance and less profit are generated by the employees for the company (Armstrong, & Overton, 1977).
In addition to that employees who surf the internet and access pornographic sites becomes addicted to it thus sending large amounts of working time to satisfy the vice. Employees hooked on porn are unable to work at full capacity thus leading to reduced productivity which is borne by the organization. Also time spend surfing eats on the time that should be spend working testing to loss of many working hours. These employees also become riddled with feelings of guilt, shame and regret by accessing such explicit sites hence end up underperforming at workplace leading to lost productivity. The addiction to surfing explicit sites is hard to quit and the addict is forced to spend more time each day thus compromising on the working ethics and time management.
Purpose of the Study
This research is intended to provide an in-depth analysis of the effects of lost time at workplace regarding the emergence and use of advanced models of phones. It will focus on the use of personal phones at workplace and its effects of leading to lost time and hence reduced productivity of the organization (Armstrong, & Overton, 1977). This research also will yield information on the use of personal phones by employees at workplace to access the internet especially the social sites like the face book and twitter and the frequency as well as times spend. In addition to that it will also yield the main reasons which employees prefer using their personal phones to access internet instead of using the computers provide at places of work. Finally the research will yield information on whether the use of personal phones at work place really leads to a lost time and reduced productivity or not. Hence the research lays an emphasis on phone use with regards to lost time at places of work.
This research paper will be expected to give detailed answers to the following research questions regarding the impacts of using personal phones at workplace in terms of lost time and productivity. The research questions are:
What are the reasons of using personal phones at place of work?
What is the extent of using personal phones at work place?
Are there organizational policies that regulate the use of personal phones ate workplace?
Does the use of personal phones at workplace led to lost time and productivity?
Statement of the Hypothesis
The hypotheses of the research are:
Ho: Personal phones are frequently used by employees at workplace for personal interest.
Ho: Use of personal phones at workplace leads to a lost time.
Lost revenue that emanates from low productivity is one of the thorny issue that the businesses are plagued on for a very long time. In this technological era where computer, iphones, iPods, blackberries, smart phones and other internet enabled devices positioned in the work place has made other issues to come up. The activities of the employees such as surfing during the work place, personal messaging and emailing are activities that being carried out in the companies time. Due to this, there has been significant lose of productivity and revenue throughout the year (Collins, 2005).
There several costs that are hidden which are direct associated with employees hiring. Other costs are that are also associated in the same is personal use o the technologies in the workplace. There is however the cost that is associated by personal technological use which is liability or security risks. The breach of security for example trade secret and the liability issues that might be caused by the way the work uses the technology, like download of pirated software from the companies computer to save in their phones, may decrease the efficiency of the company's machines thus costing it dealing (Collins, 2005).ÿ However, use of the company computers can be reduced by placing security measures to reduce this, but still use of the personal phones regulation has over time been very futile. Therefore, there has been continuous loss of time in the company no matter how much the company restricts their computer and phone usage in the workplace.
Factors That Determine Employee Underperformance
In general, various factors have lead to low performance in the company making the productivity to go down. These factors are will be mentioned to ensure that we compare them with the time wasted by use of the phones in the work place. Some of them are natural inability o the worker to perform the activity that ha seen assigned. This can be caused by several things as lack of enough information about the work or having less orientation to his or her roles. It can also be caused by interruptions that might happen during the time of executing his duty such as unnecessary phone calls, messaging among others.
The other factor is the level of the skills the employees has towards the job that they are undertaking. This can be easily tackled provided the employee has the aptitude for work. This also creates low performance leading to low productivity level.
The other thing that makes employees to have low production is the effort that each employee put towards work. This may due to attitude, or the preoccupation that the employee has during the working hours. During a time technological evolution where phones are rampant in the work place, the research shows that most of the interruption is brought by use of phones. Social use of the phones counts for a very big percentage as show in the by current statistics. Around 86% of the women, uses phone for social network while their counter part men counts for 38%. Therefore, this shows that most of the company's time is wasted as workers dedicate their time to social principles (Collins, 2005).
These factors affect the productivity of the company leading to lose of revenues. Otherwise, use of phone has turned to be the greatest time waster in the organizations. Therefore, as much as the employers to understand the various cause of the employee underperformance use of the phones in the workplace should not be underrated. This is due the amount of revenue that is encompassed in its use leading to ever declining productivity in the company. Due to a behavior that is seemingly unquestionable to most of the workers no matter the types of rules that are put in place, most companies have seemed their production ever depleting. Therefore there is need to address it providing appropriate ways of dealing with it.
Reasons of Using Phones in the Work Place
The control of the mobile phones in the work place has been very tricky over the years due to the attached issues that underlay their uses. These issues have made the company to always develop a soft skin in their use provided the employees follow the laws that are put in place. The following are some of the uses of the phone by the employees in the work place.
Maintain family contact (Collins, 2005).
Most of the employees claim that it is very hard for them to put their phone off their work place, as they require to constantly knowing how their family is doing. They therefore ensure that they are always connected to facilitate this. According to the research done in the organizations about the importance of the phone in the work place indicates that use of mobile phones in emailing, ringing and messaging was among the top three mostly used. Unfortunately, this is mostly done during the working time as the data show that, most of these activities were due from five in the morning to six in the evening. This show that the time lost due to such method translates to around two minutes per hour in the production time. This showing that the employees in the name of maintaining contact with their family, use a lot of production time that could have been otherwise used in the production process. This lead to a lot of revenue wastage in the organizations.
Regardless of the way the phones are used in the work place especially for social networking in the company leading to low production, women were seen to the most vulnerable. Interestingly, 86% of the employed women registered that the use of the phone in the work place is very important. This was seen to translate in the low production level of the women in the work place leading to great lose of revenue. This research shows that traditionally, women are the most vulnerable in maintaining their family relationship, but consequently, leading to a lot of time wastage. Men are not also left behind in the use of the phone for social networking in the workplace. They account for about 38% of the time that they use phone in the workplace. This is a great percentage of time that if used in the production may turn around several things in the organization. The sum total of the time lost by the employees in the name of maintain family attention is a lot
Use of Mobile Phone for Personal Life
Mobile phone use has been developed to be very important regardless of the place you are in and at any time. Therefore, this has not been exception to the employees in the organization. No maters the rules that have been placed to regulate the use of the phones in the organization, the employees argue that they require phones to ensure that they contribute to their personal life. With the technology that has erupted in the recent soon where some phones are embedded with internet surfing and are email enabled, the employees have made a big step towards breaking these rules as they can communicate through the company quietly without management knowledge (Collins, 2005).
Use of Mobile Phones for Security Purposes in Workplace
This is one of those things that have made the company pursuit to minimize the mobile phone usage in the organization futile. Employees claim that they are unable to stay away from their mobile phone due to security purposes either at their home place or in the work place. Therefore, as much as the employers would like the employees not to have phone in their work place they are unable to eradicate all the risks that may happen either at their employees' homes or at work. The attempt of using security system to minimize the usage of organization phones and the companies computers in communication procedures has turned to failure as the employee bring with them phones with equivalent features. This has turned the workplace to be a place of social networking leading to low production level as a lot of time is wasted. According to the research done in the companies, about three quarters of the employees responded that they feel secured when with phone at work. When asked about how often they use their mobile for this purpose, most of them in the contrary use them to do other things instead.
These things lead them to collision with their bosses due to uncompleted task leading to stress at work. When they experience stress, they are prone to reduce the employee's productivity as they are demoralized by work pressure.
Effects of Phones
Cost of mobile phones in the workplace
According to the respondent that were asked about the pressure that these people has especially on time management, 45% of the workers said that they are always in rush to accomplish their duties. This is brought by overuse of the phone especially in the work place. The employees find themselves in a lot of problem as they try to balance the phone usage and the work they tackle in the workplace. This makes them to waste a lot of time in the process leading to failure of planning well in the work. Therefore, most of the workers find themselves in time pressure as they try to counter the time wasted in process of using phones during their working hours. This leads to low quality production or otherwise low production.
Stress at work
Phones have lead to stress in workplace due to uncompleted duties due to the time lost during social networking. The outcome of extravagate use of the phone in the work place leads to stress. This makes the workers to feel incompetent due to the work that is due and yet to be delivered. The time management is always at its worst position. This makes the workers to feel insecure leading to lowering of their morale in work. Stress always lowers the productivity of the employees leading to the organization losing a lot of its revenue.
Cost of mobile phones in the workplace
The proficiency of use of the mobile phones technology has created its sown set of problems especially in the productivity level. The figures in how much it cost employers in revenue lost each year due to its misuse is unexplainable. This is because it has turned to irresistible in it use in the work place during work time. Therefore, summing up all these losses, it is found to be a bit costly in form of revenues wastage.
According to the survey that has been done in the public sector in United Kingdom in 2008, employees use ninety minutes per week in their phone for unrelated work matters. Workers are estimated to use 4.4% of their work time doing these things. This leads to economic cost of ten million pounds per year due to these behaviors. This is a lot of revenue-wasted duce to the behavior of phone usage leading to economic crisis in most of the organization.
Another survey that was conducted by the salary.com on America in 2005 shows that, over a normal working day of around eight hours a day, more than two hours are wasted by an average employee in the process of using the phones in the workplace that translate to about 750 billion dollars per year loss of revenue. Looking at the statistics therefore, it shows that if the usage of the phone is not well regulated in the company, it may to a very great down fall.
The usage of the phone and especially the most recent ones with very high technological revolution has made people's life to be a bit simpler in relation to the life there after. It has made possible changing the whole world to global village. Nevertheless, if the phone etiquettes are not followed to the letter, it may lead to may disadvantages especially to the organizations and to the personal level. The most important aspects of the phone are use it in way that it will not affect much of employee time. this challenge should go to the employers to ensure that they not only put security measures like cameras to get the people who are breaking the law, but also educate the employees on the importance of the discipline of using phones in the work place.
Methods and Methodology
The research will be basically seeking answers that answers the question on whether the use of personal phones in the workplace really lead to a lost time which serves to reducing the level of productivity in the organization or not. In addition to that it will also try to establish the various reasons that often encourage the employees to using their phones at the workplace and to what extend do they use the during the working hours.
The research will employ various methods of data collection that are expected to yield the necessary data that will enable a successful research process. The methods to be sued in the research will be selected based on the nature of the study to be conducted.
The study will incorporate two main methodologies of research i.e. the qualitative research methodology as well as the quantitative methodology that will adopt a number of data collection techniques intended to ensure that the required data and information is captured well. The data obtained should be able to be used in a successful making of reliable inferences, recommendations and conclusions from the research. The data obtained and analyzed from the research will then be presented using tables, charts as well as graphs. The analysis of the data will be done using the non parametric statistics.
The design of the research will involve a study based on the use of both the qualitative and the quantitative research approaches which according to Yu & Cooper, (1983) will enable the research to be broader in nature of coverage thus ensuring that all the requirements of the research topic are covered comprehensibly. The design to be used in the study is the controlled randomized design that will ensure that specific employees from different organization are studied and that diversified information regarding the use of personal phone at places of work is obtained. This design is the best one because if well executed it will be capable of yielding a great deal of data that is required in making the research successful in addressing all the research questions and the accurate testing of the research hypotheses.
The population to be studied during the research includes employees from different organizations and companies that offer diverse services and goods. The population of interest is the working class that has been in jobs for more than two years and has witnessed the increasing use of personal phones at the work place. In addition to that they probably operate under different management systems that deal with the issue of phones use in work place differently hence will yield data that is representative of most employers in the market. The population is categorized into government employees or public servants, organizational employees e.g. in academic institutions and those working in private companies or private sector.
Sampling strategies that will be used to obtain the sample population includes the following: random sampling stratified random sampling and careful biased sampling. Use of random sampling strategy ensures that a group of the entire population of employees is selected as representative the entire population in the research study that is being conducted.
Careful biased sampling will also be used to ensure that specific individuals especially employees who have been working for two years or more are identified to help provide certain information that cannot be adequately provided by new employees in the job market. Stratified random sampling will be used to subdivide or distinguish between individuals who have either directly or indirectly been involved in using personal phones at work place.
Data Collection Methods
The data required for an in-depth view of the issue of the lost time and productivity in the workplace as a result of using of personal phones will be obtained through the perusal of both the secondary and the primary sources of data.
The primary sources of data collection to be used in the research depending on where they will be most applicable includes: interviews, observations and questionnaires. Interviews are chosen because when the research is conducted it provides a direct contact with the interviewee hence probabilities of obtaining first hand information is high. In this method both the interviewer and the interviewee are in a position to clarify on issues concerning the research being undertaken hence, researcher is able to obtain information which is well elaborated and reliable. The method is also a flexible data collection tool as questions that are not clearly understood by the by the interviewee will be rephrased by the interviewer to enhance communication process. In addition to that using the interview as a tool for data collection allows the interviewer a chance to learn about things and facts that cannot be observed directly in the field and finally it offers the internal viewpoints of the issue hence complementing the outward behaviors of the interviewee.
Despite the advantages of the interview tool mentioned above, according to Cohen & Manion, (1996) it's a slow method because the process calls for interview of one person at a time, cannot fully trace events and trends that occurred in the past concerning instability in the region this is attributed to the fact that the respondents' memory and retention is deemed to be selective, in that those incidences that tend to revoke bad tend to be forgotten and not mentioned lest remorsefulness arises. It is also an expensive tool that is subject to respondent and interviewer bias (Benson, 1946).
Questionnaires will also be used to collect the relevant information. Questionnaires are distributed to the respondents in the field preferably in the in working areas and to be collected later at an agreed date. According to Beiske, (2002) questionnaire covers a large population at time as they would be distributed to different participants at a time and be collected later or at the same day depending on the willingness of the responded, due to it being standardized they are more objective, data collected from questionnaire are easy to analyze, due to familiarity with the tool, responded will not be apprehensive, it is also very cost effective tool of collecting data as compared to the face to face interviews, the tool also reduces bias (Patton, 2002).
According to Cohen & Manion, (1996) the major problem with this tool is the tendency of respondents to forget vital information, respondents may answer the questions superficially especially the long ones hence to counter this short questions are developed for the study. A short but very inclusive questionnaire due to standardization provides no room for explanation incase respondents misinterpret or do not understand the questions. Observation tool was also used to collect data in the field.