In Deloitte’s 2017 Mobile Consumer Survey, their opening chapter asks ‘Smartphones, A Blessing or a Curse’?  They find that more than 50% of 16 - 44 year olds feel that they use their phone too much.  The concern is most pronounced amongst younger generations, where the most commonly reported issues are compulsive checking, excessive phone time and over-dependence on the phone.   

We are starting to admit that our phone habits are hurting our relationships with others and with ourselves.  However, amongst those who have attempted to curb their behaviour, only 14% have managed to do so.  

From a corporate perspective, we see three major issues.  

The first is the impact on productivity.  Researchers have found that just having your phone within sight reduces cognitive capacity by 10 IQ points (equivalent to a sleepless night).  Given that we are interrupted up to 200 times a day by our phones, it is becoming harder for employees to achieve ‘flow’ or to deploy ‘active listening’, critical for both job satisfaction and productivity.  

The second, relating to the first, is the impact on employee engagement.  We know that ‘deep work’ and ‘finding flow’ lead to a stronger connection between the employee and their workplace.  Deep work is necessary for mastering new skills, synthesizing complex information and producing better results in less time  .  But the art of concentration is one that is dwindling and needs to be relearned within many workplaces.  

Finally  is the effect on overall employee wellbeing - their relationships, physical and mental health.  1 in 4 people have felt ignored by a friend in favour of a device, whilst 78% of adults check their phones within an hour of going to bed - proven now to reduce sleep quality.  There is also growing evidence linking the overuse of phones to feelings of loneliness and depression.

This issue could not be more topical.  For example, in January Apple’s shareholders pushed for tighter controls to manage children’s use of phones; more recently Facebook has moved to ensure time on the platform is ‘time well spent’.  

The Product

SPACE is designed to help people to find their digital balance.  We do this by:

  • Helping users understand the triggers for their current habits;

  • Setting goals for new behaviours, then tracking progress against these goals over time;

  • Providing tools, such as notification blocking and screen dimming to curb usage, whilst sending interruptions to nudge behaviour change;

  • Enabling pairing with friends, to encourage new habits through reciprocity;

  • Benchmarking performance against the SPACE user-base;

  • Providing information and inspiration about digital balance

  • Facilitating a conversation about digital habits and how they make us feel.  

The evidence

Research has proven that using SPACE can significantly improve feelings of work efficiency and productivity.   Results from an independent study in the US show that after using SPACE for 4 weeks, people’s sense of ‘efficiency in managing my time’  increased by 30%, ‘control of my productivity’ by 21%. 85% of respondents felt that SPACE helped them to monitor their smartphone usage, 71% believed that ‘SPACE enables me to improve my smartphone usage.  

SPACE users spend less time on their phone.  Amongst our wider user base, SPACE users on spend on average 2 hours and 46 mins on their phones per day - whilst the average US citizen is reported to spend 4 hours and 16 mins.  Our users believe ‘this app is like a promise to a friend’, it’s ‘not intrusive or annoying. Nice nudging toward the phone-usage behavior you aspire to’, ‘this app is really motivating me to not reach for my phone in all my downtime’

Ways in which SPACE could help your organisation

SPACE can help your organisation to improve productivity, wellness and engagement amongst employees and those of your clients.  We do this by:

  • Facilitating the conversation

  • Empowering employees

  • Tracking progress and impact for your organisation

Contact us here for more information about our bespoke product feature, analytics and pricing.  


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