Everything You Need to Know About Mobile Phone Policies at Work
You may feel you can’t go for long without using your smartphone. If you’re like many people, it has become such a big part of your day, it’s hard to be away from your phone for very long. After all, your smartphone is your connection to the world through the internet, social media, email, apps, music, video, games and more. But because they can be distracting, many employers have banned the use of smartphones during work hours, except for emergencies. If yours is a work setting where you’re still permitted to use your phone, you should still follow some do’s and don’ts.
Smartphone etiquette tips for work
Phone usage during work hours can pull your focus away from your job. In your boss’s eyes, this can lead to lower productivity and even safety concerns, depending on where you work. You’d never want to put yourself or your co-workers in danger, or even lose your job over something as simple as your phone. Instead, you can be smart and safe by following these five tips:
- Follow your employer’s phone policy. It’s not just a suggestion! If your boss says no phones—keep yours stowed in your desk, pocket or purse until break time or the end of the day. Switch it to vibrate or silent mode.
- Keep your phone out of reach. If your employer doesn’t have a “no phone” policy, it’s still a good idea to stay off your phone and do your work. Having your phone within your sight can send your brain an automatic signal to pick it up and start surfing, so keep it in a safe place where you won’t glance at it.
- Take emergency calls somewhere private. Let’s say your child’s school calls with a question. Don’t interrupt the workday or a meeting to talk on your phone. Instead, excuse yourself and take the call outside, in the breakroom or in the cafeteria.
- Keep emergency conversations brief. Explain to the caller you’re at work and you don’t have much time to talk. Then, get the details quickly and get off your phone.
- Don’t use your phone during meetings or work conversations. If you take five to chat with a co-worker or go to lunch, engage in the conversation rather than scrolling through your phone. During meetings, keep your attention on the person speaking and resist the urge to pick up your phone. Save phone usage for when you’re by yourself, or for after the workday.
It’s the right thing to do
Smartphone usage can rob you of precious time during your workday. Think of all the things you can accomplish without taking time to use your phone—and what your accomplishments can do for your career!