Survey: 15% of parents distracted ‘often’ by their cell phones at work

Face it: It can be easier to pay more attention to your phone than your work in the office sometimes — but it turns out that this feeling doesn’t exactly discriminate when it comes to what generation you’re part of.

In fact, new research from Pew Research Center shows that 15% of American parents are “often” distracted by their cell phones in the office — meaning that they “lose focus” because of them. Thirty-six percent of them think they spend “too much time” on these devices in general.

Here’s how parents feel about their phones

American parents with teenage children weighed in:

  • “Feel as if they have to respond to messages from other people immediately:” 20% feel like this “often,” 39% “sometimes” do, 26% “rarely” do and 13% “never” do
  • “Check for messages or notifications as soon as they wake up:” 26% say they “often” do this, 32% say they “sometimes” do, 25% “rarely” do, and 15% “never” do
  • “Lose focus at work because they are checking their cellphone:” 15% say this “often” happens to them, 24% say it “sometimes” does, 29% say it “rarely” does and 30% say this “rarely” happens

As mentioned, 36% of American parents think they spend “too much time” on their cell phones, but 55% say they spend “about the right time,” and 7% think they spend “too little time.”

But when it comes to social media, 23% of American parents think they spend “too much time” on it, 55% spend “about the right time” and 12% spend “too little time.”

Here’s how distracted people are by their cell phones

Pew Research Center also found that when it comes to talking face-to-face, 30% of parents say that their teenager “is distracted” by their phone “often,” compared to 42% who say their teenager “sometimes” is during this time. Just 20% of parents said their teenager “rarely” is, and 8% said “never.”

But the tables were turned with the next set of stats showing how many teenagers think their parent appears “distracted” by their cell phone when they’re trying to talk. Fourteen percent said their parent is “often” distracted by their phone during this time, 37% said they “sometimes” are, 31% said they “rarely” are, and 18% said “never.”

How parents feel about their teenager’s tech usage

The data shows that while 57% of parents report that “they limit when or how often their teen” is able to surf the web or use their mobile phone, 65% report that “they worry about their” teenager having too much screen time. Lastly, 86% of parents with teens think they know what’s best: this whopping amount said that “they are very or somewhat confident about how much screen time is appropriate for their teen.”