Cell phone convenience and accessibility has changed workplace etiquette. While friends, family and clients (to name just a few) can reach out anytime, fixation on the phone can lead to distraction, annoy colleagues and reduce productivity. If your business doesn’t have a cell phone policy in place, the following are a few suggestions to keep your team focused while still being accessible.
While at work, put the phone away.
Phones should be stored in a desk, bag or kept in a location aside from the immediate work area.
Turn off the ringer.
Ringtones can be loud and distracting to others, particularly in an office environment where employees are on desk phones frequently. Set phones to vibrate or silent.
Use cell phones at the workplace for important calls only.
Chats with family and friends should be conducted during break periods and away from the immediate work area.
Having an established voicemail in place makes it easier to manage incoming calls and context.
Find an appropriate place to make calls.
Breakrooms, outside patios and other designated employee areas are ideal for conversations and usually also offer a better level of privacy.
Avoid looking at phones during meetings.
Whether in person or virtually, phones are best left out of meetings unless critical to current business needs.
Cell phone etiquette isn’t just about calls.
These same rules apply to using apps, games, social content, texting and more.
Realistically, every employee will have their phone accessible during the workday. It’s a matter of showing good judgment, setting solid standards and recognizing when usage is becoming excessive. Having a solid HR policy that address appropriate cell phone usage during work hours is critical and also sets expectations.