Mobile phone policies may need to be implemented into your workplace if an increase in usage during work hours is noticed.
Checking phones periodically for important messages or waiting for an appointment to call may usually be okay in a work environment. However, prolonged use of mobile phones for personal/private reasons can be a major red flag that may need to be addressed.
If employees use their phones during work hours too frequently, then this can lead to:
- A lack of productivity in the workplace from the employee due to distracted focus
- Poor customer service and increased complaints
- Distracted or disengaged team members
- Safety concerns
- A lack of professionalism & duty of care towards customers
It is advised to take the following steps to manage and reduce mobile phone use in the workplace:
- Make your policies clear from the get-go: Include a document that outlines your policy when you send your employees their contracts. Make sure there is a poster in the workplace that states your expectations. If overuse persists, directly talk to the employee and express your expectations.
- Consider restricting when employees can use their phones, if at all. This could mean that employees can only use their phones during breaks or keep them with them only for emergencies. If employees have a customer-facing role, consider lockers for them to keep their phones in when working.
- Employees making repeated private or personal calls during their work hours may become an issue if not addressed. Set rules out when it comes to taking or making calls. Although you cannot monitor this completely, it allows employees to understand what is expected of them.
- Do not let inappropriate or excessive use slide after you have communicated that it is not allowed in the workplace. The consequences will depend on your workplace, but don’t let them be ignored.