Eight in ten Australian business travellers say social media is negatively impacting daily routines and leaving them feeling drained and unaccomplished, according to the results of a ground-breaking study commissioned by Marriott International.
In addition, smartphone notifications and the proliferation of entertainment options such as podcasts, TV shows and video streaming were also blamed by 59% of Australian survey respondents as a key reason why they were not as productive as they could be otherwise.
The result, which saw Australia ranked the world’s highest in social media distraction, was based on a global poll of 7,500 business travellers across nine markets, which included the US, UK, China, Germany, the UAE and more.
Despite this, Australians were also ranked highly in another metric – the ability to multitask. Three in every four Australian respondents said they were forced to multitask for at least one hour each day in order to try and complete everything they needed to do in a day. Only the United States fared worse, with eight in ten saying they were forced to multitask in order to catch up. Mexican and Chinese respondents were the most disciplined, with only half saying they needed to multitask.
An overwhelming majority of Australians said they were hampered in their day due to not being able to clear their minds. More than 80% said the accessibility of distractions such as social media prevented them from being their most creative or inspired, from doing their best work and attending to their personal needs.
Considering the results, the study also found Australians only needed 15-30 minutes each day in order to relax, recharge and get into the right frame of mind. Unsurprisingly, more than 80% of Australians said they produced their best work when disconnected from distractions. Time spent away from devices was considered peaceful and restful, with nearly 90% of respondents saying they were back to operating at their peak efficiency after just a short 15-minute break.
Marriott International Vice President, Brand & Marketing Asia-Pacific, Mike Fulkerson, said the company understood people are motivated, busy individuals and that their best work was possible when they open their minds to inspiration.
“Our survey results reinforce this insight by highlighting the importance of disconnecting from our daily distractions and to-do lists – even for just a short period of time – in order to reach that ideal frame of mind and create space to think.”
Australians also topped the survey results when agreeing that the task of creating a to-do list itself was also proving to be a distraction and preventing them from focusing on what was really important in life.