Britain's poor productivity rate was revealed in the dismal forecasts for economic growth outlined in the Budget by Chancellor Philip Hammond.
Dan Nixon, a senior analyst at the Bank of England, suggested that people were spending so much time checking their smartphones that a "crisis of attention" might lie behind the country's sluggish productivity.
Nixon tracked the shrinking of recent western productivity growth against the tenfold increase in smartphone shipments in the past 10 years.
He pointed to evidence of widespread "cyber-slacking", with office workers routinely sneaking lengthy peeks at their social media accounts.
Studies suggest that after being interrupted, office staff need 25 minutes on average to refocus on their work.
Data shows that visits to shopping websites peak during office hours - 2-6 pm on weekdays.
Nixon also notes that some apps are designed to be addictive and begin to hijack people's mind.
"Distracted moments can lead to distracted days...if you keep getting distracted by external stimuli, your mind is more likely to wander," he said.