Researchers at Kansas State University have found that allowing employees to take smartphone microbreaks may be a benefit - rather than a disruption - for businesses.
"A smartphone microbreak can be beneficial for both the employee and the organisation. For example, if I take breaks of one or two minutes throughout the day, it could provide me with refreshment to do my job," explained Sooyeol Kim, a doctoral student in the department of psychological sciences at Kansas State University.
Through a study of 72 full-time workers from various industries, Kim discovered that employees only spend an average of 22 minutes out of an eight-hour workday playing on their smartphones.
He also found that employees who take smartphone breaks throughout the day are happier at the end of the workday.
To study smartphone usage, Kim and collaborators developed an application that the 72 study participants installed on their smartphones.
The app privately and securely measured the smartphone usage during work hours.
"By interacting with friends or family members through a smartphone or by playing a short game, we found that employees can recover from some of their stress to refresh their minds and take a break," Kim noted.
"Such breaks are important because they can help employees cope with the demands of the workplace," Kim told the gathering at the 29th annual society for industrial and organisational psychology conference recently.