Smartphone use at night can harm productivity

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Do you have the habit of checking your work e-mails late at night before going to bed? This may affect your productivity, says a new study. According to a research conducted in the US, using a smartphone after 9 pm may cause workers to feel disengaged and kill their productivity the next day. Night-time smartphone work drains employee effectiveness in the morning, says the study.

“Smartphones are enormously valuable for helping people fit work activity into times and places outside of office hours,” said researchers, adding, “However, our new research indicates this greater connectivity comes at a cost — using a smartphone to cram more work into a given evening results in less work done the next day. Smartphones are bad for sleep, and sleep is very important for effectiveness of an employee.”

According to the study, smartphones keep one mentally engaged with work late into the evening, making it harder to detach, relax and sleep deeply to recharge one’s batteries. The research also added that managers need to find innovative and creative ways to balance the downside of using a smartphone.

One possible solution could be adopting a predictable time off each day. This includes a set time to power down and psychologically disengage from work in order to relax. Another is establishing new norms of when the employees are expected to respond to e-mails.

“As smartphones become more embedded in our daily lives, we should continue to seek solutions that will enable us to stay in touch with smartphones and still be able to get the sleep we need to be effective and productive the next day,” said the researchers.

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