March 9, 2010 · For Employees
Cell phone usage has been creeping its way into the workplace for sometime now. You see it in every single company. The abuses are numerous: The executive that takes a cell call in the middle of a meeting the phones that are left on someone’s desk that blast loud, annoying ring tones; the plant worker who leaves his/her work station to take a call. I attended a seminar not too long ago where the speaker took a cell phone call in the middle of his presentation.
Last year, the Society for Human Resource Management surveyed 379 human resource professionals and found that 40 percent of their companies had formal policies governing cell phone usage at work. They also revealed that the busier an individual is, the less likely he or she is to take time and be interrupted by personal phone calls. Conversely, individuals with too much time on their hands fill the day with personal calls.
I’m still looking for that study that shows much productivity is lost during the day to cell phone usage and personal computer time. Some employees view cell phone usage as a status symbol. Some people just don’t have good manners when it comes to using a cell phone. Lack of cell phone courtesy is creating a new set of problems in the workplace; similar to that of email. Obviously, cell phones are here to stay and because everyone has a phone with them at all times, their use needs to be managed in the workplace.
Here is a list of cell phone guidelines that may help you in your workplace:
- Limit your personal cell calls to lunch hours and breaks.
- Personal cell phones should be turned off during normal business hours if possible.
- Set your phone to vibrate during the work hours.
- Employees who can’t be reached on a direct company line should use their cell phones for an emergency only.
- If you are meeting, don’t answer your cell phone unless you are expecting an emergency phone call.
- Ask what your employer’s guidelines are for cell phone usage.
Remember the best way to develop cell phone etiquette guidelines is to look in the mirror and ask yourself, “Am I guilty of doing the same things with my cell phone that drive me crazy when others do them?”
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