We’re all guilty of slacking off of work from time to time. I’ve even taken a little while writing this story as my phone is constantly beeping at me, that flashing green light telling me to look at my new message. They’re a massive distraction, and well, everyone likes that rush of dopamine released when our phones let us know someone has just messaged us. They’re a drug, and as a society we’re only getting more addicted.

So how many of us actually use our phones when we’re supposed to be working? A lot, according to new research conducted by LaptopsDirect.co.uk. The average British worker spends up to 120 hours per year on their smartphones in the workplace. Now before going forward with the stats, there’s no telling when these people use their smartphones, which may mean that the phones are used while on a lunchbreak. But we all know that’s not going to be true… right?

The research which was carried out over 2,012 working adults found that 78% of us regularly responded to text messages, while 52% admitted to contacting or answering messages on other services such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

But only 59% of us take personal phone calls while in the workplace. Maybe because they’re a lot harder to get away with? Only 9% admitted to sending a Snapchat during the work hours. Probably just to let their friends know that their work day is just as long as theirs.

More than a third – and probably one which I am guilty of – regularly check their social networking feeds, because you never know when a celebrity or “dank meme” will start trending online.

44% of people that partook in the research said that their workplace permitted reasonable use of smartphones. This may come in the form of some kind of downtime, or if they’re in similar roles to me, are probably scouring social media for the next big story. Yet 4% had said that they had received disciplinary action against them for using phones in the workplace. Sorry guys.

But… the finger has to be pointed at someone for being the worst culprits. And we’re looking at you lot in Marketing, who shown that 98% used social media during work hours. But I forgive you… we all do it. Below you can find which job roles use their phones the most during work hours.

  1. Marketing – 98%
  2. Information and communications – 96%
  3. Creative and photographic – 92%
  4. Professional service (law, accountancy) – 86%
  5. Trades (construction, plumbing) – 78%
  6. Manufacturing – 74%
  7. Retail – 64%
  8. Transportation – 48%
  9. Education – 44%
  10. Healthcare – 23%

Mark Kelly, marketing manager at LaptopsDirect.co.uk, said: “It’s no surprise that we are addicted to our smartphones however overuse during working hours can add up, leaving a serious shortfall in productivity. Although companies monitor and prohibit the use of social media during the working day, the research shows that there is still a large amount of people continuing to use their device. Use of smartphones and social media in the workplace can lead to hundreds of thousands of hours in lost productivity per year, which could cost UK companies millions of pounds.”

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Stef Murphy

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