By Komborerai Murimba – Nobody wants to say it. WhatsApp is murdering productivity in the workplace by the percentages! WhatsApp addiction is now a more serious problem than we ever thought Facebook was because on the most part, it actively takes the user out their your work while they actively concentrate on responding to incoming IMs. So bad is this perceived obsession that there is now an app to help users deal with WhatsApp addiction which constantly discourages the user to check their WhatsApp during working hours.
Then, some news for you. WhatsApp recently announced that it’s now processing a whooping 27 billion messages a day. The number still rises. It is only evident therefore that WhatsApp use is increasing, as much in the number of people who are now actively using it as it is with the volumes of messages being transmitted through it.
One thing for certain is that most users don’t stop chatting because they are at work. Personal chats go on and on, eating into even the most productive hours of the day.
So, what is it that makes WhatsApp notably worrisome when it comes to its use during hours intended for serious work? Well, the answer is in the application’s design itself. WhatsApp is made to make you ‘need’ to chat more and more with some of its distinct features which keep you chatting on the platform through the day. These include automatic addition of contacts (synced from the phonebook), the absence of basic sign-out functionality in most devices and timestamps – all some of WhatsApp’s most annoying features. In short, WhatsApp thrives on user addiction and as its use encroaches into productive business hours, it becomes a menace to productivity and a nuisance in the workplace.
Sadly, very little can be done to restrict anyone from using their mobile device through the day. Unlike a notebook whose workings are pretty much a company’s business from those billable hours an employee is working, a mobile phone remains a very private space noone can go, or effectively restrict any individual from going in any case. It’s guaranteed freedom, and there is no prospect whatsoever that at any point companies are going to come up with some iron ‘mobile use policy’ which tells someone how to use their private property.
Anyhow, it’s near impossible to monitor WhatsApp use. Hence, the application’s perpetual use and its assortment of features stacks against employee efficiency.
It seems the little hope that’s there is in the WhatsApp addiction app.
Komborerai Murimba is a co-founder and writer for Teqno Magazine