Cell phones at work: how should the company position itself?

Cell phones at work: how should the company position itself?

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The question about the cell phone use at work takes away the sleep of many HR experts. It is worth noting, first, that there are no laws that prohibit the use, but it is possible to undertake some awareness campaigns so that the habit of cell phones in the workplace does not interfere with the productivity and the company's results.

Until recently, the use of cell phones in the workplace was considered an element involved in distractions for employees.

However, the scenario has changed absolutely, since many digital solutions can be accessed via mobile devices today, making the use of smartphones almost a constant necessity.

It is also worth noting that Brazil currently ranks third among the countries that most spend their days on the internet – with an average of nine hours and 14 minutes per day connected.

Read also: HR challenges for 2021: from talent retention to automation

Therefore, it is important to re-discuss the issue of cell phone use at work. Something we will deal with in the topics below. Follow us throughout this reading!

Prohibiting the use of cell phones at work is outdated

As we highlighted above, prohibiting the use of this type of communication technology during working hours is a dated issue. That's because employees today need their phones to work more effectively.

Not allowing them to use their cell phones at work can do more harm than good. After all, there are several applications that can help employees in their routine, in addition to keeping them informed about almost everything and in real time.

In the Information Age, that makes all the difference. Which brings us to the question: why do some employers still insist on banning the use of cell phones at work?

In general, the issue is associated with the distracting element caused by the devices. In Brazil, people tend to check their devices 78 times a day, for example.

But the hasty decision to ban them can be even more damaging than a few minutes of distraction, you know?

The harms of creating prohibitive policies

When management decides to separate the professional from his device, a kind of alarming phobia can be created and nurtured in the professional productivity. Some symptoms related to it:

  • anxiety;
  • irritability;
  • high blood pressure;
  • dysrhythmia.

After all, it is not the idea today that we consider our phones as extensions of ourselves. Something important to notice, especially, in a workplace for generation Z.

The benefits of freedom

Therefore, when considering the issue of cell phone use at work, think less about restricting people and more about behavior employees.

Freedom is tied to each other's sense of responsibility. If the performance indicators show that the performance is being impacted by the excessive use of the device, and the employee does not care about it, the question to be asked is: do we need employees like that in the company?

For this reason, a more flexible policy should be considered, which takes into account:

  • The intellectual property security of the company (if employees take photos at the workplace);
  • flexibility at work with regard to the use of the devices;
  • maintaining productivity;
  • team engagement.

To achieve all of this, a few tips should be applied:

  • call sounds should only be used when it is an emergency;
  • for all other types of notifications, sounds and vibrations must be turned off.

Also, preach the common sense and raise awareness, through training and qualification for employees, the good practices that are encouraged and / or tolerated by the organization.

Assess that the performance of the employee is being observed, and not what he does with the time he thinks he has free.

Only now we want to hear a little more from you too. How has the issue of cell phone use at work in your company worked? Share with us your experiences, successes and frustrations, on the subject, in the comments field of this post!

Since we emphasize the need to carry out assessments of the performance of your employees, we recommend that you read the article; “Performance Evaluation: what it is, how to do it and what types” and understand how to apply it in your company.

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