Most of us are unable to function without our smartphones by our sides – or at least that is what conventional wisdom claims. A study from the Universities of Würzburg and Nottingham Trent have found that workers are actually 26-percent more productive when their phones have been removed from the room.
The experiment was conducted on a relatively small sample size of 95 participants, and was funded by Kaspersky Labs. However, it looks like the goal of the study was to establish a correlation with an earlier report from Kaspersky on the impact of mobile devices on workplace productivity.
Phones were placed in four different locations in relation to the participants during the study; on the desk, in their pockets, in a drawer, and outside the room. It was noted that every layer of distance between the participant and the phone increased the participants’ score on a concentration test. This finding cumulated in the 26-percent more work done while the phone was outside the room.
Additionally, it does not appear that the distance of the smartphone from its owner produced an additional levels of anxiety. The researchers did not that female participants were more nervous than their male counterparts; although the press release did not provide information on how this level of anxiety was measured.
Kaspersky appears to be concerned with the disruptive effect of mobile devices on concentration as it makes people more vulnerable to cybercrime. A lapse of judgement could possibly result in malware being unleashed on an unsuspecting computer.