Looking at your smartphone has become a habitual, ingrained aspect of everyday life. This can be a cause of significant distraction for employees and affect productivity.
One study showed that 55% of distractions in the workplace are caused by cellphones, and there is a 28% increase in mistakes after an employee gets a phone call. As a manager, dealing with personal cell phone use can be difficult due to their habitual and ubiquitous nature.
Having a cell phone policy pinned up on notice boards or added in the staff newsletter every now and then is a great way to remind employees of cell phone rules they should follow. You can include the disciplinary repercussions of violating policy terms, such as a warning, a final warning and a ban.
You can also emphasise areas of work where cell phones are completely prohibited, which typically include:
- During meetings and conferences
- When handling dangerous equipment and tools
- While operating machinery and while driving
- During interactions with clients
Your cell phone policy can also include regulations when cell phones are to be used, such as:
- What times it’s okay to use a cell phone during the workday, such as during breaks
- In what circumstances it’s acceptable to use a cell phone during work hours, such as for business calls and posting on the company’s social media
- Where employees can store their cell phones
A cell phone can not only distract the user but also the people around them. This becomes apparent when videos are played aloud or when a phone call is being made. To minimise office disturbances, you can outline and practice cell phone etiquette with through guidelines such as:
- Keeping phones on silent
- Prohibiting the use of cell phone cameras for staff privacy
- Speaking quietly when on the phone
- Going outside or somewhere private to make a personal call
If your employees have tasks that require cell phone usage, such as making calls, posting on social media or testing apps, consider offering a company phone instead. Using a personal phone for business means that the employee can become easily distracted by personal notifications and messages while using their phone for business. Having a company phone used exclusively for work can help increase productivity and keep work and personal duties separate.