By Daniel Hunter
Almost three quarters of social media users are now checking their news feeds on their smartphones during meetings, according to a new poll.
The survey by office experts LondonOffices.com found a huge 71% of staff would sneak a peek at their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds during a meeting.
Reasons given for this were keeping up to date with breaking news, wanting to check in location services and, for some, purely out of boredom.
The poll found almost half would go through their smartphones in order to see the day’s headlines prior to live events, with 47% saying they looked at their Facebook and Twitter feeds for details.
Out of all of the social media platforms available, Twitter is the preferred app for checking up on live events, with 28% of those polled searching for the event hashtags during meetings.
However despite the widespread use of social media for professional purposes, an honest 9% confessed to scrolling aimlessly through their smart phones during dull moments of a meeting.
But a firm 99% believed that playing games on smartphones during meetings was unacceptable, with only 1% admitting to a secret gaming session under the desk.
When asked about the number of different social media channels perused in meetings, a fifth said they looked at just one whilst 11% said they would look at a few to keep up to date on everything.
Only a small number of these 'social media-oholics' said they would update their social media channels in a meeting, with 7% owning up to tweeting in a meeting.
Just 3% said they have updated their Facebook status and vain 1% dared to take selfies to post on Instagram and Snapchat.
The survey looked at the smartphone habits of 1000 office workers. Almost all, 97%, took their phones into meetings with them with almost as many, 95%, saying they put their devices on silent.
One respondent said: “My job relies on reacting to current affairs and keeping an eye on what’s in the news so I regularly check my social media feeds during meetings.
“I have attended conferences where the use of social media sites, particularly Twitter, has been openly encouraged. Sometimes its easier to ask a question via the Twitter hashtag rather than put up your hand in front of 100 strangers.”
Another respondent said: “When a meeting drags on longer than it needs to, it’s pretty hard to resist scrolling through your newsfeed under your desk.”
One person who took part in the survey said: “I’ve lied to my boss’ face and said I was checking email when I was actually sending a selfie to my best friend via Snapchat.”
A spokesperson for LondonOffices.com said the survey results showed how social media was having an increasing impact on the working environment.
He said: “Social media is playing a bigger role in our lives, not just in our personal lives but at work too.
“We have become accustomed to having live news updates at our fingertips so it’s only natural we begin to feel ‘out of the loop’ much quicker than we used to.
“The rise in the numbers of smartphones has made our social media channels much more accessible. We no longer need to sit in front of the computer to become updated. Now we have platforms such as Facebook and Twitter quite literally in the palm of our hands.
“Many employers may view this as a headache but in some technology and marketing sectors, the use of social media in meetings is actively encouraged.”
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