you heard the term "Nomophobia (no-mobile-phone-phobia)?" Perhaps, perhaps not. Apparently,
though, this is the thing: Nomophobia is a word that refers to the fear of
being out of mobile contact, due to a user having no network coverage, losing
their phone, running out of battery life or not having credit.
How to converte mobile phone addiction into productivity, image courtesy: http://www.neontommy.com/news/2013/03/can-cell-phones-affect-sleep
word itself is an abbreviation of sorts, standing for No Mobile Phone Phobia.
It makes the language geek in me cringe, as it should properly mean "an
irrational fear of the law." Nomos, in Greek, means "law."
Still, there's no accounting for taste, or Internet pundits, for that matter.
apparently this is a big problem, as well. 47% of 2,163 women assayed have this
fear, and 58% of men have it too. The level of fear participants experienced
compared to those experienced on wedding day, trips to the dentist, and so on.
course, in many cases, this may not be an actual fear — or phobia — but may be
simply a more typical anxiety. Yet still, this points to dual growing trends in
Western culture — those of mobile phone overuse and Internet addiction
So the question is — is this a real
problem? And if it is, should we address it? How?
sure, mobile productivity applications and cloud-enabled networks, along with Unified Communications technologies and others enable workers to "make better
use of their time." They can email while standing in line at the grocery
store; they can work on a presentation while waiting for their car to be
serviced; any idle bit of time can be transformed into a moment of
downside to this, though, is that it's disconnecting humans from one another,
and pulling our focus into our devices, a million miles away from the people
standing right next to us. We're increasingly addicted to our tech, many
enterprises having workers that are spending every free moment tweeting,
emailing, and tweeting, with the line demarcating work-related tasks and
personal ones growing more blurry all the time.
devices are great ways to give us things to do. Many times those things are
even quite useful. Too often, though, these devices take priority over the
other people in the room with their users. This is enough of a problem in a
social setting; in a business setting, it can be disruptive and even
So again — how do we deal with this
first thing that needs to be done is that some basic parameters need to be laid
down. Like what parents do with children, ground rules for good screen time
habits need to be set. Firm corporate expectations need to be established. Let
your employees know, for example, that it's your priority that your company be
seen as on-task during meetings. In other words, no phone use during meetings,
especially when clients are present. Of course there are extenuating
circumstances; information needs to be looked up, and so on. Phones are
incredibly useful tools. But when that situation is dealt with, put the phone
away. And for heaven's sake, no personal use.
Simply put, boundaries need to be set.
possible strategy might be to try convert disruptive habits to a more
collaborative and productive effort. Take, for example, business VoIP
applications. Most of them offer cost-effective ways of maintaining constant communications, and even collaboration between departments. There's video
conferencing, SMS, IM, and the various features of UC as well. So if, by their
own choice, your employees are going to be cyborgs anyway, you might as well
leverage that to your advantage.
do you have an employee that's overloaded with work? Try shifting some of that
over to one of your more smartphone-addicted workers, and you'll have a shot at
re mediating two problems at the same time.
course, there's always the last step: Bringing in an outside expert to talk
about device etiquette in the digital age. They can also deliver talks on how
to deal with addictions to their devices, and actually get more done during the
day ... instead of simply checking their phones 110 times a day.
About the Author
Michelle Patterson is excited
with the new technologies that are threatening to change the way we stay in
touch and communicate, particular in business. She works with companies that
are introducing these technologies to make understanding them easy for regular