Smartphone use at work is an issue that is worsening, as a new survey shows that the majority of employers think the modern devices are the biggest killers of workplace productivity.

The survey by CareerBuilder asked 2,186 hiring managers and 3,031 full-time employees what they thought about smartphones at work.

55 per cent of employers said they thought that smartphones were the factors affecting workplace productivity the most.

This is no surprise given that eight in 10 workers own smartphones, with 82 per cent admitting they like to keep them within eye sight while at work.

While the majority of employers saw smartphones as an issue, only 10 per cent of smartphone owners thought their devices affected their work, despite the fact that 66 per cent admitted to using them several times a day.

Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder, said: ‘While we need to be connected to devices for work, we’re also a click away from alluring distractions from our personal lives like social media and various other apps.’

Nearly half of employers said they diminish the quality of work, while another 38 per cent found that their overuse lowered morale because employees were forced to do work that others failed to complete.

And 27 per cent of employers noticed that deadlines were missed due to smartphone use, with 20 per cent reporting that client relationships were harmed.

Many businesses are trying to tackle the growing problem using several strategies, such as blocking certain Internet sites, banning personal calls, and monitoring internet usage. However, these strategies can reduce employees’ morale.

Ms Haefner thinks that honesty is the best way to address these issues.

She said: ‘Have an open dialogue with employees about tech distractions. Acknowledge their existence and discuss challenges and solutions to keeping productivity up.’