David Cameron pig allegations could harm UK productivity

Employers have witnessed an increased number of staff distracted by their smartphones

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The Independent Online

Allegations that Prime Minister David Cameron put "a private part of his anatomy into a dead pig's mouth" is costing the UK in lost productivity as employees become distracted from their work.

That's the view of Alan Price, senior employment lawyer at Peninsular Business Services, who said that they had received calls from employers asking what to do about staff who had been distracted by the allegations.

"One manager rang and said everyone was looking at Twitter," Price said. "It’s because of smart mobiles, which means technology is in front of everyone. Before you would buy the paper and go home and talk about it at home, where now people have access to information all the time and it is very hard to switch off from the outside world at work.”

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Price said that a media event will cause a spike in the number of calls they receive from managers and human resources staff witnessing an increased number of staff distracted by their smartphones. “Something like this normally lasts 24-48 hours, you see employers complaining about distractions,” Price said.

He advised employers to have policies in place to deal with staff who are easily distracted or spend a lot of time on their smartphone. “But be lighthearted about it,” Price said. “There’s nothing wrong with people occasionally checking their phones.”

Technology can be hugely disruptive in the worldplace. One-third of employees admitted to checking emails, social media and text messages in meetings, according to the results of a YouGov study commissioned by Arvato UK. Londoners are more likely to be distracted than those elsewhere, while men were worse behaved than women.

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