Does Your Workplace Need a Mobile Device Policy?

It’s safe to say that smartphones have changed virtually every aspect of our daily lives. While these new-age gadgets come with a number of benefits, they also have their fair share of downsides, especially in the workplace. Increasingly, companies around the globe are noticing a decrease in productivity as workers spend untold amounts of time each day talking, texting and scrolling through social media on their phones. As an employer, you don’t want to alienate your workers by banning phones entirely, but it is crucial not to let them interfere with workflow. So here are a few simple tips you can implement to help keep cell phone usage limited around the office.

Break Time Is Phone Time

One of the easiest ways to handle smartphones in the workplace is to encourage your employees to only use them during break times. While this policy isn’t always manageable – after all, personal emergencies do crop up occasionally – limiting phone usage to breaks and meals is a pretty good rule of thumb. In particular, you want to try to curb extended talk and text sessions during the heart of the workday, as these practices can derail productivity and even disrupt other employees.

Limit Noise Disruptions

Even if employees aren’t actively taking phone calls or texting, smartphones can still cause a disruption in the office. Noisy ringtones and text chimes can be distracting, especially if they go off several times a day. Accordingly, you should remind workers to put their phones on mute or vibrate when they’re working so that they don’t cause disruptions.

Let Supervisors Use Their Discretion

Ultimately, the best way to deal with employees using cell phones might be to empower supervisors to use their own discretion. Let’s face it, when it comes to overusing smartphones, some workers are serial offenders, while other workers are more sensible. By instructing supervisors to tackle mobile phone issues on a case-by-case basis, you can avoid making waves with your entire staff while still making sure that the more disruptive practices are effectively handled.

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