Cell phones have now become an integral part of our daily life. Every person these days seems to have one. Unfortunately, many use it to the point of addiction. This affects a user’s personal and professional life.
Employers are also beginning to see the problems posed by the constant use of mobile phones. They can especially see it negatively impacting employee productivity. But the problem is that employers can’t really ask their workers to put aside their cell phones and still expect them to be available at all times. That would be a bit ironic.
To tackle the misuse of cell phones in the workplace, some rules need to be put in place. These rules might be difficult to adjust to in the beginning but they are bound to increase productivity in the long run.
How cell phone usage at work affects productivity
Recent surveys by staffing firms have found out that employees spend at least 56 minutes per day using their phones for personal business at work. That’s approximately one hour wasted daily!
This obviously leads to a loss of productivity. In addition, sometimes employees are so engrossed in their phones that they can miss something a supervisor told them to do or unconsciously give a wrong response which leads to problems down the line.
If restricting cell phone usage still doesn’t increase productivity by much, you can install a time monitoring software that keeps an eye on the daily progression of your employee.
How cell phones pose a threat to data security
People carry mobile phones with them everywhere. They check it before going to sleep and look for it immediately after waking up. Thus, it’s not really surprising that they constantly use their phones in the workplace as well.
However, those who use their mobile phones to deal with work-related issues can unwittingly become responsible for a breach in security.
Since employees have their mobile phones with them at all times, there’s a high chance that it can be misplaced or stolen. And once the device is in the hands of a malicious seasoned attacker, breaking a lock or password becomes very easy. After that, one can only imagine what will happen to corporate data.
Other dangers like malware Trojans, communication interception, and insider threats are also possible through mobile phones. When one starts to see how many problems a single mobile phone can cause for the workplace, it becomes increasingly clear that there should be some rules put in place to limit its usage.
Rules needed for workplace
Since we’ve established the importance of limiting cell phone use at the workplace, it’s now time to come up with some rules.
Issues that affect some businesses may not affect others so each company needs to have its own policy. Some basic rules that companies can implement include:
- Keep mobile phones on “vibrate” mode
- Personal calls are only allowed during break or lunch.
- No frequent or lengthy calls allowed.
- If you’re taking a personal call, keep the pitch of your voice low and don’t talk about intimate details.
- Refrain from using obscene, defamatory, or offensive language during a personal or business call.
- To maintain the privacy of your employer and fellow employees, cell phone cameras during work time are not allowed
No phones allowed
Is it fair for employers to completely ban cell phone use at work? By law, employers can do so and employees can do nothing about it. Unless different employees face different cell phone policies. Then a case can be made based on differential treatment.
Companies that deal with confidential services or products may want a ban on all phones. There are numerous ways in which data can be compromised through cell phones so better safe than sorry.
Some employees might feel that this is in violation of their natural rights but if there are no cases of discrimination then they can’t do much against it.
With this policy in place, employers can ask employees to leave behind their cell phones at the reception. If there happens to be a call for an employee, HR can let them know. At the end of the day, employees can safely retrieve their cell phones from the main desk.
The employers who want to restrict cell phones at the workplace should communicate their expectations regarding correct employee behavior to their staff members.
These types of policies should be clear and not ambiguous. They should not be partial to an employee or some group of employees. The employer needs to be consistent and fair. Otherwise, he or she can be sued for employee favoritism.
Author Name: Jason Cohen
Bio: I am precisely described as a tech junkie working in content development and marketing for a thriving start-up: Staff time tracker. Literature lover by default. My interests range from politics to social issues, books to tech trends, gadgets and so on.