Skip to main content

How to Burn Out Your Employees Quickly and Completely

"Only 40 percent of Americans get enough sleep on most nights and a commonly cited reason is smartphone usage for work."
Using a smartphone to cram in more work at night results in less work the next day, indicates new research co-authored by a Michigan State University business scholar.

Recommended Reading
Click on image
In a pair of studies surveying a broad spectrum of U.S. workers, Russell Johnson and colleagues found that people who monitored their smart phones for business purposes after 9 p.m. were more tired and were less engaged the following day on the job.

"Smartphones are almost perfectly designed to disrupt sleep," said Johnson, MSU assistant professor of management who acknowledges keeping his smartphone at his bedside at night. "Because they keep us mentally engaged late into the evening, they make it hard to detach from work so we can relax and fall asleep."

More than half of U.S. adults own a smartphone. Many consider the devices to be among the most important tools ever invented when it comes to increasing productivity of knowledge-based work, Johnson said.

Yet at the same time, the National Sleep Foundation says only 40 percent of Americans get enough sleep on most nights and a commonly cited reason is smartphone usage for work.

For the first study, the researchers had 82 upper-level managers complete multiple surveys every day for two weeks. The second study surveyed 161 employees daily in a variety of occupations -- from nursing to manufacturing and from accounting to dentistry.

Across both studies, the surveys showed that nighttime smartphone usage for business purposes cut into sleep and sapped workers' energy the next day in the office. The second study also compared smartphone usage to other electronic devices and found that smartphones had a larger negative effect than watching television and using laptop and tablet computers.

In addition to keeping people mentally engaged at night, smartphones emit "blue light" that seems to be the most disruptive of all colors of light. Blue light is known to hinder melatonin, a chemical in the body that promotes sleep.

"So it can be a double-edged sword," Johnson said. "The nighttime use of smartphones appears to have both psychological and physiological effects on people's ability to sleep and on sleep's essential recovery functions."

One potential solution is turning off the smartphone at night. But Johnson said that isn't always practical in today's business world.

"There may be times in which putting off work until the next day would have disastrous consequences and using your smartphone is well worth the negative effects on less important tasks the next day," he said. "But on many other nights, more sleep may be your best bet."

The study will appear in the research journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.
*  *  *  *  *

Story Source:  The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. (2014, January 22). Nighttime smartphone use zaps workers' energy. ScienceDaily

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Earn a Living Shining Shoes. . . Really

Earning a Living as a Bootblack
Can someone make a living shining shoes in today's economy?  At on time there shoe shine boys as they were called were found on street corners across the country, thousands of them.  Many were from poor families and worked to help support themselves and their families.  Today, I found three established shoe shine stands in downtown Seattle, plus two bootblacks, the traditional name of those who shine shoes, working on the streets of Seattle.

Meet George Johnson, age 74 on October 20th, a self-employed operator of a shoe shine stand in downtown Seattle's Rainier Place.  George has been shining shoes for the last sixty years, starting in Arkansas and ending up some thirty years ago at the Washington Athletic club a few blocks from his current location.
"Sixty years," I asked him the day we met.  "You ever think of retiring?"

"Gonna work until I can't do it no more," he replied.  "I don't even think about i…

The Facts of the Small Business Survival Rate

Back thirty years ago when I first wrote about small business, a hoary and horrible statistic was bandied about, even by some of the most experienced entrepreneurial pros: "80% of new businesses fail in their first five years." 

This "statistic" has appeared in more places than you can imagine, from the leading small business magazines, books, presentations by employees of SBDCs, the SBA, SCORE, Chambers of Commerce, even professors on the college level - who should know better than to quote un-sourced numbers.  It still shows up in small-business blogs today.

For some years, I searched for a source of that statisitic.  Never found where that number came from, leading me to believe that some self-appointed expert made it up.  To quote a character from the popular television show, M*A*S*H, "Horsepucky." 

Here is the truth about the survival rate of new start up businesses in the U.S. economy from two unimpeachable sources, The Marion Ewing Kauffman Foundati…

The Seven Characteristics of the Creative Employee.

How to Find Good Employees:

On my post of February 18th of this year, we talked about the role of managing stupidity in the success of any organization.  "Stupidity Management" refers to the real need of a business to know the difference between routine tasks that must be completed by rote and those tasks that require innovation and fresh thinking.  

Every business has a need for discipline in tasks that must be performed the same way, each and every time.

Every business has a need to creative thinking and fresh ideas on certain other tasks or problems, just not every task of problem.  

The Hunt for the Creative Individual
There are certain jobs in every organization where you, the owner, need original thinking.  Or perhaps you're running a business that lives off original thinkers.  An advertising agency is a business where the company's assets walk out the door every day at five (ish).

Professor √ėyvind L. Martinsen at BI Norwegian Business School has conducted a study to…