How to Stop Excessive Personal Cell Phone Usage in the Office

Save

If you've ever had a meeting interrupted by an annoying ring tone or watched an employee on deadline texting to his kid, you might have wished these handy little cell phones would go the way of the cassette tape or the typewriter. But cell phones are here to stay -- just ask the 25 percent of households that have eschewed land-line phones altogether. Don't let excessive cell phone usage kill the productivity in your office.

Personal cell phone usage significantly dents office productivity.
Personal cell phone usage significantly dents office productivity.

Step 1

Write a cell phone policy. Define when and how much personal usage is acceptable. You have to balance your employees’ need to manage their complicated lives with productivity. Taking a call from a sick kid may be acceptable; spending 45 minutes counseling a friend through a painful break-up is not.

Employees at work will, ideally, spend their time working.
Employees at work will, ideally, spend their time working.

Step 2

Post the cell phone policy in prominent places throughout the office. If you allow cell phone calls either for personal or work reasons, display cell phone etiquette rules as well, including turning off the ringer, stepping away from work areas to talk and speaking softly.

Draft a clear policy about personal cell phone usage.
Draft a clear policy about personal cell phone usage.

Step 3

Review the cell phone policy with employees, and have each sign an acknowledgment that they have received and understand the policy.

Employees appreciate clear expectations.
Employees appreciate clear expectations.

Step 4

Enforce the policy consistently. Address infractions quickly so employees will understand you’re serious about controlling excessive calls. Track usage on work-provided cells and have employees pay for any personal costs.

Let employees know that you are serious about productivity in the office.
Let employees know that you are serious about productivity in the office.

Step 5

Allow for exceptions. Life has a way of happening during work hours, so keep the lines of communication open. Ask employees to let you know if they’re expecting an important call, or to explain to you after if necessary, so you’ll know they respect the policy.

Keep the lines of communication open with employees.
Keep the lines of communication open with employees.

Step 6

Model good work habits. Sure, you might be the Head Honcho, but if you’re spending your days talking football with your cousin or texting your boyfriend, your employee is going to feel pretty resentful if she gets corrected for talking too long to her lonely aunt. You’re responsible for setting the tone of professionalism and productivity.

Set a tone of professionalism for your employees.
Set a tone of professionalism for your employees.

Related Searches

Tips & Warnings

  • If you don’t expressly forbid your employees to drive while conducting business on a cell phone, you may be held liable for damages if an accident occurs. If you provide cell phones to employees, make sure you keep legal ownership of the phone number, so departing employees don’t take clients with them, and have them sign a usage agreement, specifically banning harassment and other inappropriate behaviors.

References

Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

You May Also Like

Related Searches

Check It Out

Are You Really Getting A Deal From Discount Stores?

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!