UK study finds that £800M lost yearly to iPhone gaming in the work place

| Monday, September 12th, 2011

According to a study conducted by iBingo, employees are costing UK businesses 800 million pounds per year. The report, based on the small sample size of 200 iPhone owners, has found that, on average, the typical iPhone user spends about one hour gaming on their iPhone while at work each week. To be honest, that’s a lot less than we would have expected. Extrapolating those findings, iBingo believes that the 2,000,000 iPhone users in the UK are costing their employees 57 million lost working hours per year, or 800 million pounds.

That’s a lot of lost time and money.

Extrapolating these kinds of reports to provide a bigger picture is always fraught with controversy and inaccuracies; however, it has got me thinking a little bit about the workplace, and the use of smartphones.

Should these numbers provide an accurate glimpse into typical workplace usage patterns, then the 800 million pounds lost isn’t exactly something to balk at, but a couple of questions remain. First, how many of these employees spend time working for their respective companies outside of business hours? Did any of them send work emails while riding the bus to work in the morning? What about answering text messages from colleagues while they’re out with friends for dinner? Surely these types of situations never occur in the work force, right? Is anyone doing a report or study on this kind of behavior? I’d like to see the results of these two reports side-by-side.

These types of reports blow my mind sometimes. Knowing how much money and time is lost while on the job is something we will continue to hear about from time to time as more and more people start bringing their own smartphones to work with them on a daily basis, but we need to keep in mind that most employees do some work for their respective companies while off the clock, and they’re not getting paid for it.

If company time is company time, and personal time is also company time, then you can expect that most people would take ten minutes here or fifteen minutes there to play Angry Birds whenever the desire arises. If I had to hazard a guess, I’d bet businesses make back that time by badgering their employees at home, and expecting them to be on call all day, every day. Heck, they probably make back that lost time faster than they lose it.

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