I have noticed employees lately periodically checking cell phones during work hours and am considering having all cell phones put in the break area to be used there only. Is that a common problem, and if it is what do yall do?
Are people just checking them, or are they talking on them, playing games, watching videos?
If they are just checking them, you are not really loosing any time. If you make it a break room only thing, people will just take more bathroom breaks to check their phones.
Now if people are taking calls, sending long texts/emails, or are just generally being overly disctracted, i would just come up with a policy of what a phone can be used for (personal music use if you allow headphones), and what they can not be used for during work time ( long conversations, web browsing, ect).
Being a IT guy i deal with a lot of technology. For most people a cell is their only phone, and they can get emails or texts from their day care, kids schools, spouse.
If you make them put them in the break room, more people will be distracting thing they are missing a call from their wife or something
This was one of my most aggravating issues. Nothing ticked me off more than seeing an employee constantly viewing his cellphone. Okay, I get it - there may be a situation whereby they were expecting an emergency call/text relative to a child or spouse. But, other than an emergency - I just can't accept that their attention should be diverted from the task I am paying them for to be checking email, text messages, games, etc. constantly while on company time. Larger companies do not allow this - why should we? My spouse works at a grocery store (Shoprite) - employees are required to leave their phone in the break room. And she is not at risk of amputating a finger or such by a distraction of a cellphone. So, why should our rules be any more lax?
Late last year I finally put my foot down - no cellphone use during work hours. On break, or at lunch - no problem. No cellphones allowed in the bathrooms (that was the most abused usage ever!). So yea, cellphones are to be kept in their lockers. They were advised that should an emergency take place - our office should be notified, in which case that employee would be immediately notified of the situation and allowed to respond in an appropriate manner given the emergency. I have to say - I heard no grumbling or complaining - my guys accepted the fact that they realized how much they were abusing the privilege of cellphone use, and were surprisingly amiable to curtailing future use of such. I kinda think it was an addictive behavior, and one they were not consciously doing just to waste time.
Five months later all is running smooth with no attempts to break the rules. I'm once again a happy camper!
i-phones are a great way to communicate with your crew. When they hear that ping from a text message it's just like christmas! There is nothing going to stop them from checking what you said.
We use text alerts to manage our shop with a database program running on Filemaker Go. We use this to establish priorities, assign tasks and monitor status of projects. All of this is accessible with an i-phone.
Pat Gilbert has it right. As long as the crew is getting the work done let them stay in touch with the world.
Thanks for the responses. The break room and bathroom are far enough away to avoid that issue. The main issue is what one person said about bathroom time. Gradually I have seen longer visits to the bathroom than I used to. I like for them to have their phones because when I'm not at the shop and need to get in touch with them I don't want to wait till break time to talk. I can get the bathroom issue fixed and it will be good. Thanks.
I had to ban them in the shop. I tried being nice about it but it was a serious issue and was affecting production negatively. Some people are responsible and some are not. When the phone stays 8n the locker production goes up.
We have a "no cell phone during paid hours" policy for production workers.
Emergency contact can be made just like it always has been: contact out published phone, say it's an emergency, and we gladly get the employee to a phone.
As to "a symptom of a problem", of course. So is standing around and telling jokes, talking about the Sox game last night (or, even worse, the Yankees!), or anything else not contributing to your paycheck.
But, cell phones are a lot easier to recognize and control, and cell phones are a lot more universally used. That's why there are no laws that say you can't shave and drive - it's not any safer than using a cell phone, but a lot less likely to happen.
If your policy is cell phones in the breakroom only, it's very easy to see and write up an employee who breaks that rule. Usually, judging whether talk about the Sox game is more subjective as to whether it's interrupting production or not.
The nice thing about being the business owner is that you get to make any rules you want. The hard thing about being the business owner is that you get to make any rules you want.
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