Are your employees using their phones when they should be working?

Mobile phone usage policies

We are continually relying on our mobile phones and other mobile devices for everything from checking the weather to keeping in contact with each other on social media. With such a high reliance on mobile phones, chances are your business has had issues with employees using their phones while they should be working.

This issue of employees using their phones while they should be working is becoming a huge problem in many workplaces.

ER Strategies has recently written an article about this issue and has also updated our mobile phone policies to help businesses overcome this problem.

Different Mobile Device Policy Types

In some circumstances occasional use of a phone whilst working won’t be a major issue, such as for employees working in an office, so we have written a policy appropriate to mobile phone usage in an office environment, which Online HR clients can find in their Online HR document library.

In other circumstances, using a mobile phone could pose high risks to productivity, customer service or work health and safety, such as for employees working in a restaurant, and that is why we have written a stricter policy appropriate for mobile phone usage in a restaurant/fast food environment, which clients can find here.

It is important that businesses choose a policy which suits their working environment and accurately reflects their stance on mobile phones, as some businesses will require stricter adherence to their policies by their employees using mobile phones during working time.

What to do about the problem?

Some steps to follow if your business is having trouble with employees using their phones at work include:

·         Clearly setting rules such as ‘your phone must be in your locker while you are on shift’ are easy to understand for all employees. If your policy is vague or you do not have a policy at all, it will be far harder to enforce and can cause problems when attempting to discipline employees over the issue;

·         Ensuring that all employees are made aware of, and understand the employer’s policy so that the policy can be enforced. Management needs to lead by example and set consistent standards as to when it is ok – and not ok – to use mobile phones in the workplace.

Employees who continue to use their phone inappropriately after they have been made aware of the policy should be dealt with swiftly and in a way which will educate them as to the correct required behaviour. Should they continue to use their phone in breach of the policy, formal disciplinary action should be taken to deal with the issue.

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