All those e-mails, text messages and cellphone calls appear to be cutting productivity in the workplace.
A study commissioned by Hewlett-Packard found that e-mails, text messages and cellphone call interruptions lead to a loss of concentration and problem-solving skills.
That steady inflow of messages can be disruptive to employees' normal work.
"People who are multi-tasking...there's actually a larger drain on what they're doing in the office, and it's costing companies money," says Ashley Nelson, who teaches management communications at Tulane's Freeman School of Business.
"I think the impact on the current economy in this country is about 600 billion dollars a year on lost productivity," says Nelson.
She says, no matter how much we brag about our ability to multi-task, our brains are really wired to handle just one task at a time. Switching back and forth just gets in the way.
"As we add more little gadgets of technology, folded into our everyday usage, we're not as productive as we thought we were."
"The brain has the figure out 'What am I paying attention to? What do I shift to?', and that's where the loss of productivity comes," Nelson says.
"Brains are wired to work in a certain way. And, obviously, as man has evolved, our brains really didn't take in the concept that this technology would be folded in and we'd be using it every day."
According to the survey carried out by TNS Research, the constant interruptions not only reduced productivity, but also left people feeling tired and lethargic.
The mental impact of trying to balance a steady inflow of messages with getting on with normal work took its toll.
In 80 clinical trials, Dr. Glenn Wilson, a psychiatrist at King's College London University, monitored the IQ of workers throughout the day.
He found the IQ of those who tried to juggle messages and work fell by 10 points, the equivalent to missing a whole night's sleep and more than double the 4-point fall seen after smoking marijuana.
"This is a very real and widespread phenomenon," Wilson said. "We have found that this obsession with looking at messages, if unchecked, will damage a worker's performance by reducing their mental sharpness.
"Companies should encourage a more balanced and appropriate way of working," said Wilson.
"The research suggests that we are in danger of being caught up in a 24-hour 'always on' society," said David Smith of Hewlett Packard.