Smartphone usage of employees at an I.T. firm.
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Smartphone applications have the potential to revolutionise the way tasks are performed including: communication and messaging, information retrieval and analysis, file management, scheduling and planning, social networking, navigation, media, eBooks/eMagazines, online shopping and finance management. Productivity may be improved with the use of smartphones but may be hindered by task switching, unnecessary features and distraction. The purpose of this study was to explore the smartphone usage of employees with the purpose of identifying: how do employees use smartphone applications in different environments, what factors drive employee smartphone usage, and how do employees perceive smartphone usage to affect their productivity. The employees at an IT firm were sampled as this study intended to assess usage in both working and personal contexts. Secondly, it is generally expected that the adoption of a new technology will stem from technologically inclined individuals. An adapted UTAUT framework was applied and data was collected using an online questionnaire. Key findings indicate that with the exception of file management, media and scheduling/planning, the applications were mostly used when away from home and work, then at home, and then at work. The applications used most were social networking, followed by communication and messaging, and then information retrieval and analysis. Usage was low for online shopping, eBooks/eMagazines and file management. There was agreement that technological determinism, effort expectancy, social influence, performance expectancy and facilitating conditions are factors that drive smartphone usage. Overall, smartphone usage appears to have improved perceived productivity. Furthermore, the main applications that lead to improved productivity are email, instant messaging and the web. There was agreement that personal organisation, multitasking, instant feedback, the ability to work at any time and place, and the ability to complete tasks in less time, influence smartphone usage for productivity. Surprisingly, there was significant disagreement that task switching and distraction due to games or social media reduces productivity. Overall, there were significant positive correlations between smartphone usage and the factors that drive smartphone usage, as well as smartphone usage and perceived productivity.