It's probably best to encourage your employees to keep their cellphones by their side during work hours, according to a recent study.
Research from Kansas State University found that employees who periodically took short cell phone breaks to text others or play games tended to be happier at the end of the day compared with those who didn't.
KSU doctoral student Sooyeol Kim studied 72 full time employees working in various industries. In order to conduct the study, his research team developed an app that monitored participants' cellphone use throughout the day. The app could distinguish what types of activities employees used their phones for.
For example, it tracked how long workers spent on games like "Angry Birds" as well as social media sites like Facebook. Kim discovered that throughout an eight-hour day, employees spent an average of 22 minutes on their smartphones.
In order to gauge the effect that this had on employees' moods, Kim had participants record their level of happiness at the end of each day. He suggested that those who took smartphone breaks were ultimately happier at day's end because these quick periods of downtime helped them to ameliorate stress when it arose.
"These days, people struggle with a lot of different types of stressors such as work demands, time scheduling, family issues or personal life issues," Kim said. "We need to understand how we can help people recover and cope with stressors." The smartphone just might be one solution, he suggested.