Personal calls at work - your guide to dealing with dialling

  • Employee Conduct
Peninsula Logo

Peninsula Group, HR and Health & Safety Experts

(Last updated )

Read our article: 'Personal calls at work - your guide to dealing with dialling'. Contact us today for more information about our Employment Law, Health & Safety, and HR services.

Few managers or colleagues approve of other staff members making or taking personal calls during office hours – it’s rarely work related, and takes the caller’s mind off the job. Not only that, but it can impact on everyone’s productivity and performance, especially in an open-plan environment. Here’s how to take control of the situation... While some employers believe all personal calls during work hours should be prohibited, in reality this may not be practical. So firstly, it’s a good idea to determine under what circumstances they’re allowed, such as:

  • Family emergencies
  • Calls from a child’s school

It may even be that an employee is expecting some big news, and thinking about it all day will keep them distracted from work – a little leeway allowing them to make a quick call to find out will help them to re-focus to their work tasks. Implementing a policy While the above situations may warrant a personal call, if they become a habit, you’ll need to take action. Spending copious company time and resources focusing on something other than work will have detrimental effects on the individual’s performance, as well as the business itself, so you need a policy in place to clarify the rules. Here are some things to consider:

  • If employees are using company equipment to make or take calls, you can introduce restrictions on the use of this company property.
  • Decide whether some limited personal use is tolerated, or whether the policy strictly prohibits staff from using the company equipment for any non-work related, personal purpose.
  • Make sure that all employees are aware that communications, on company devices, including telephone calls, are monitored prior to intercepting their personal communication.
  • Your policy should state what consequences will follow in the event of a breach – this is usually disciplinary action, according to your disciplinary procedure.

Regardless of whether your policy allows for some private calls or not, you should still impose a limit and trigger points for a disciplinary procedure. If you do allow reasonable personal use of company equipment, ensure that you act consistently when investigating if a member of staff has breached that rule, sticking to any precedents you may have established previously.  


Got a question? Check whether we’ve already answered it for you…

Related articles

  • equality for older workers


    General Election 2024: political parties urged to give older workers equal opportunities

    According to new analysis by the Centre for Ageing Better (CAB), the next government could boost the economy by as much as £9 billion a year if it gave older workers a fairer deal in the labour market.

    Peninsula TeamPeninsula Team
    • Equality & Diversity
  • safety failings


    Drowning death sees BAM Nuttall fined £2m

    Construction company BAM Nuttall Ltd has been fined more than £2m following the death of a worker who drowned whilst working on their flood defence project in Leeds.

    Peninsula TeamPeninsula Team
    • Grievance
  • compensation pay


    Directors involved in BHS collapse must pay £18.3m in compensation

    The High Court has ruled that two directors of collapsed retailer BHS must pay £18,364,448 in compensation to creditors to stop corporate risk-taking

    Peninsula TeamPeninsula Team
    • Dispute Resolution
Back to resource hub

Try Brainbox for free today

When AI meets 40 years of Peninsula expertise... you get instant, expert answers to your HR and Health & Safety questions

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the latest news & tips that matter most to your business in our monthly newsletter.