7 December 2021
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Mobile phones: driving employers crazy

David Bates
31 October 2013

We’ve all been there – we’re right in the middle of a face-to-face conversation with a close friend or family member when, without warning, they look down at their mobile phone and begin mindlessly scrolling. Or even worse, their phone rings and they actually take the call!

Well it’s bad enough when that happens in our personal time, but it’s almost unbearably frustrating when employees take and make calls, send texts and surf the net while you’re paying them.

So, this week, enough is enough! Here are 4 easy ways you can take control of mobile phone use in your workplace.

Rollout a Clear Policy

Start by setting clear expectations – and consequences – around mobile phone use via a simple ‘Mobile Phones in the Workplace’ policy. Use this document to set out when mobile phones can be used for personal calls (during breaks etc) and when it is and isn’t ok to send and receive text messages during the workday. Once you’ve implemented the policy, make sure you consistently enforce it.

Consider a ‘Silent Office’

Remember when you used to walk into your old school library only to be greeted by an abrupt ‘shhhh!’ by the frighteningly strict librarian? Well, many workplaces now enforce a similar ‘rule of silence’ in open work areas. Workers are encouraged to turn off anything that beeps, chirps, chimes or dings so that all that’s left is the tapping of keyboards and the gentle hum of productivity.

Lead by Example

If you’re in the habit of walking through your office while shouting on your mobile – or of taking calls when employees are trying to speak with you – chances are your employees will think it’s fine to do exactly the same thing. Gone are the days when employees automatically showed deference and respect to someone just because they’re the boss. These days it’s all about leading by example.

Make (Some!) Exceptions

Some employees have a genuine need to keep their phone handy – they might have a sick relative, a little one who needs to call when they get safely home from school or a Foxtel engineer on their way to save them from a summer of cricket on channel 9 (ok – that one was tongue-in-cheek). In these cases it’s only fair to make an exception, and your employees will appreciate it.

If all else fails, do what we’ve done at Workforce Guardian and set up everyone for working-from-home!

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