Who doesn’t love the convenience of a cell phone? Anybody can reach you at any time, no matter where you are. But, a cellphone might distract you from doing your job.
Managing cell phone use at work is often a problem of productivity. If your best employees are checking their cell phone a few times per day but are still producing great results, it’s not a problem. However, when employees are on their phones all the time and there are not performing, it starts to become a problem.
Unless there are safety concerns, banning cell phones from the workplace can be perceived invasive and lead to problems. Young employees like to be connected, so having rigid cell phone use rules can cause frustration.
You have to accept cell phones as a part of work-life and establish policies for their use. You want to set boundaries for your employees.
Usually, employers issue a policy that says personal phone use needs to be limited to before and after the workday or at lunchtime and breaks except for emergencies or an occasional call. Along with the policy should be possible disciplinary actions for defaulters. Make sure employees understand clearly that a few minutes spent on a cell phone is acceptable but, hours at a time is not.
It’s important to require all employees to review and sign the policy, indicating that they understand the policy terms and the consequences of violations. If you don’t, how can you expect your employees to follow policy?
As an employer or leader, the best thing you can do to promote proper cell phone workplace etiquette is to show an example to your colleagues and employees. If you’re constantly checking your phone, replying to texts, your employees are likely to do the same. Always be the right example for your employees.
Remember, while many employers are looking for ways to get their employees off their personal cell phones at work, some are getting the opposite problem: how to get them off their cell phones doing chores and tasks while at home!