With cell phones now such an integral, ubiquitous part of our everyday lives, it is entirely understandable that employers are concerned about decreased productivity and increased errors as a result of employees too focused on their phones and not enough on their work.
Way before cell phones and the distractions offered by texting, calls and social media in general, employers were concerned about the loss of productivity resulting from excess time spent at the water cooler or on breaks. It seems that there has always been distractions and interruptions that will pull employees away from their work. The distraction may be different but the results are the same.
Should you ignore it and hope the cell phone “abusers” will stop independently? Reprimand them regardless of the situation that prompted cell phone use? Ban cellphones from the workplace entirely?
It’s a challenge to determine the right solution but it is a situation that must be dealt with head on.
Knowing that employees cannot be treated like children—if you want a loyal and engaged workforce, that is—the most effective solution is to create a policy that provides all employees with clarity about if, how, and when they may use their cell phones.
As with most Company-mandated policies there is no “one size fits all.” Instead, you must tailor a policy that works for your type of business, the demographics of your employees, and the work that they do. The policy must cover all employees across all departments so that there is no opportunity for internal dissension and claims of favoritism.
And yes, as with all policies, there will be exceptions and these need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Employees that are dealing with a serious illness in the family and need to communicate with the hospital or doctors, or those that are in the throes of a legal battle, may have more cause to be texting and hence require some leeway so that they can be at work yet still stay on top of their personal situation.
Remember, too, that employees who ignore the cell phone policy should be reprimanded just as if they ignored any other office policy such as arriving late for work, excessive absenteeism, or disregarding the dress code.
The article below has great points for all employers; click around in the different Related Articles:
Overall, clear and comprehensive strategies will help employees meet and exceed your expectations across all aspects of their work. Cell phone usage is no different.
For further discussion or comments, please contact Gail L. Trugman Nikol, President Unique Business Solutions, firstname.lastname@example.org or call (516) 935-5641.