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Do Smartphones Make Us More Efficient?

Estimated reading time: 2 mins

Smartphones are meant to make us more efficient, right? Well DO they? I’ve got some data to share with you that paint a different picture!

I’ve had a smartphone for years. Have you? I started with a Blackberry, then moved onto an iPhone (until someone relieved me of it at an airport) and now I use an older Samsung handset, until I change to an iPhone 4S. I love ’em. I can do my job from my smartphone, just like many people say they do, but does it make me more efficient? Does yours make you more efficient?

According to Nielsen, though, statistics on downloaded apps tell a story that we probably wouldn’t want our bosses to hear. Most apps downloaded today are games. See for yourself.

Only 21% of downloaders chose productivity tools, versus 64% of downloaders choosing games, and 34% of downloaders selecting video/movies.

Are smartphone users more efficient, or are they entertainment devices that distract us from work?

It seems that most users see them as entertainment devices. Especially those with iPhones, as this data shows:

But these figures are hiding something – that the growth of the smartphone is a consumer phenomenon as much as it is a business one. I don’t know about you, but I really struggle to do my job as efficiently when my smartphone isn’t held safely in my pocket. And one thing is certain, it isn’t the downloadable apps that make that so, it’s the very basic features of the smartphone that I use the most. For example,

  • Email on the move is a feature I just can’t do without. I’m on the road all the time and I can’t wait until I get back to my desk to reply to important emails.
  • Calendar functions; where would I be without them? Not at the meeting I am expected in.
  • Contact Management – my smartphone contacts are my rolodex. My smartphone makes contact management easy, and saves me heaps of time.
  • Document viewing – I can view most document types on my smartphone. OK the resolution isn’t great but I can work with that – it’s enough to review a document on the road.
  • Messaging – I am not always contactable. Messaging enables communication that allows me to respond when I can do so.
  • Google Maps – Essential when trying to find the offices of a client!

Then there ARE some apps that I use all the time, and the best one of all is Skype. It’s a life-saver if I need to bridge calls whilst on the move, or call internationally at cheap-rates. I also use a sat-nav app which is great because I don’t need a separate device, and, I can use the sat-nav whilst walking or cycling as well as in the car.

So What About The Games?

I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t have any. Some are for fun whilst waiting at the airport, and most are for amusing my 5-year old son (James) if we’re waiting around for something. He loves driving games and anything to do with monster trucks.

Other than that, my smartphone really is used as an essential productivity tool.

What About You?

Is your smartphone merely an extension of your body? Can you live without one to do your work or run your business?

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About the author /


Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

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1 Comment

  1. Mary

    I surely know that my smartphone improves my productivity. But there are so many people using their smartphones only for entertaining. This is so not good.

     

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