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Do Multiple Screens Make You More Productive?

ET Cases, 10 Pages
AUTHOR(S) : Syed Abdul Samad and Dr. Nagendra V. Chowdary

Case Preview

Do Multiple Screens Make You More Productive?

On a Thursday afternoon, Rahul, who was aged around 25, was seated at his desk in his office, with the earphones plugged into his ears and speaking over his smartphone. He was also browsing some information on his tablet, when his Team Manager, Rajan, who was in his early 40s, called him to his cabin. Rahul was an Analyst who worked for a market research firm and was quite efficient at his work. He left his smartphone on his desk, and went to Rajan’s cabin with his Tablet to note down the important points during his discussion

Rajan: What is the status of the automobile industry report? How is it shaping up?

Rahul: 80% of the report is completed and only the data tables and graphs have to be prepared and placed at the appropriate places. As planned, it will be completed by tomorrow and will be submitted for quality check. Rajan: OK. Make sure that you don’t miss the deadline.

However, I have been observing that you are juggling between numerous devices/screens (desktop, tab, smartphone, etc.) while you are working at your desk and I suggest you refrain from this practice and focus on your work............

Discussion Questions

I. What is multi-screen behavior? Discuss the two-modes of multi-screen behavior.

II. Have you been a habitual multi-screen user? If yes, what has been your experience? If not, why haven’t you taken to multi-screen usage, especially at the work place?

III. Do you think that usage of multiple screens at work make an employee more productive? Why?



Exhibit I: Statistics from Google’s Study on Multi-screens

Exhibit II: Multi-screen Behavior

Exhibit III: Findings of Millward Brown Survey on Multi-screen Users

Exhibit IV: Teens, Technology and Risk of ADHD

Teaching Note Preview

Do Multiple Screens Make You More Productive?


The purpose of this Teaching Plan is neither to outline the answers to Case Debate’s discussion questions nor to suggest an ideal way of conducting an effective debate basis the given topic. It is more to share the authors’ perspectives, basis their classroom orchestration of this Case Debate, on possible ways of orchestrating this Case Debate.

Purpose of the Case Debate

Purpose of this Case Debate, which is a prelude to the Case Method of Teaching, is to inculcate the following skills [Exhibit (TP)-I] that would amply benefit the participants during their careers..........

As this Case Debate is based on a very generic topic, the purpose is not to dwell into only the research-based inputs but more to prepare the students/participants for the process of case discussion – except that while the case discussion would be based on the case facts, the Case Debate encourages the students/participants to present their ideas with no rigorous business dilemma................



Exhibit (TP)-II: Classroom Orchestration Plan – Do Multiple Screens Make You More Productive?

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Product code: MKTG-9-0075, MKTG-9-0075A


This Case Debate's purpose is to engage the participants in an interesting debate on whether an employee's constant engagement with multiple screens - smartphones, tablets, laptop/desktop, smart watches and TV - increases productivity. What do these screens covertly and overtly promote? Do they enable increased productivity? Are they stress busters or are they stress stimulants? It wouldn't be exaggerating to state that nearly 75% of a person's time is spent on crisscrossing these 5 screens. 90% of consumers' media consumption occurs in front of a screen. As consumers balance their time between smartphones, tablets, PCs and televisions, they are learning to use these devices together to achieve their goals. This multi-screen behavior is quickly becoming the norm and understanding it has become an imperative for businesses. In an acclaimed Google's study, 'The New Multi-Screen World: Understanding Cross-platform Consumer behavior', two modes of multi-screening were identified. While sequential screening was the first mode, simultaneous screening was the second mode. And a majority of consumers would follow either of these while a minority might follow a combination of these two modes. How does attention get affected during screen-switching? What does screen-switching mean for marketers? In another interesting study conducted amongst 12,000 multiscreen users between 16 to 45 years of age, Millward Brown found that a typical multiscreen user consumes 7 hours of screen media per day during a 5-hour period. Just 35% of screen time is simultaneous use of TV and a digital device.

This Case Debate centers around: (a) Understanding the two multi-screen behavior modes (b) Does Multiscreen consumption increase the productivity? (c) What does screen-switching mean for marketers? (d) What does screen-switching mean for HR departments? Should HR department mandate a screen-viewing policy during office hours?

Purpose of this Case Debate, which is a prelude to the Case Method of Teaching, is to inculcate the following skills that would amply benefit the participants during their careers:

(a) Ideation
(b) Discussion and Debate
(c) Empathy
(d) Appreciation

Case Debate Positioning

This Case Debate can be used for either of the following:

  • MBA Program – Marketing Management Course – With ubiquitous multiple screen consumption, what does it mean for marketers to influence the prospective consumers?
  • MBA Program – HRM – Should HR Departments initiate a policy on the usage of multiple screens, especially within the office premises, to increase the productivity?

This Case Pack Includes:
- Abstract
- Case Debate
- Teaching Plan (**ONLY for Academicians)

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