Mobile phone policy at work

28 August 2019

Mobile phones have become such an essential part of our daily routine, so it can be hard to imagine life without them.

However, the use of mobile phones in the workplace can be a source of frustration for you due to the knock-on effect it can have on productivity.

In this guide, we explain how to control the use of devices—you can also get straight to the task through our unlimited 24-hour HR advice line.

Creating your company mobile phone policy

You can choose to introduce regulations that explain how employees use their devices in and around your workplace.

These are your rules, but you may want to take into consideration how many staff members will view using their smartphone as a major perk (or essential lifestyle requirement).

As such, you can address these issues in your mobile phone use at work policy. It’ll help to regulate your employees’ activity and explain to them what they can and can’t do. 

Well-constructed policies will lay down important ground rules on if, and when, staff are able to use their mobile phones at work.

It’s common for many employers to forbid staff from using devices during working hours. But during designated break periods, most modern businesses allow it.

Such an approach will safeguard the overall productivity of your workforce. It could also reduce any unnecessary health & safety risks that occur during a reduction in concentration.

This is why there’s occasionally the need for a mobile phone policy on construction sites where staff are required to operate heavy machinery.

Some employers may even consider adapting a mobile phone use at work policy to allow them to confiscate devices. This is especially if they have an ongoing issue with the use of personal mobile phones in the workplace.

While some may find this to be a drastic measure, it’s already commonplace in many working environments, especially where there’s a risk that camera phones could be used to obtain sensitive business information.

However, you should consider that an overly restrictive policy may have a detrimental impact on morale, as some individuals may perceive this as a sign of mistrust.

Alternatively, some organisations will take a more flexible approach to mobile phone use by allowing staff to use their devices to listen to music. This can be beneficial for concentration.

Important points for your policy

A personal mobile phone policy for employees shouldn’t disadvantage certain individuals, so special consideration should also be given to those designated as emergency contacts for a dependant—such as a child or elderly relative.

As you may need to contact these individuals at any time, your policies should outline exceptions that’ll be made in these circumstances.

That can include allowing staff members short periods away from their duties to check their phone for important calls.

Ultimately, when introducing a mobile phone use policy in the workplace you should take the time to consider the approach that’s most suitable for your organisation.

Once introduced, make your employees aware of any new rules regarding the use of mobile phones.

After that, you’ll be free to take appropriate disciplinary action against those who fail to stick to your policy.

Need help with your policy?

If you’re looking for help establishing regulations for your employees to follow, we can help you with straight away. Call us now: 0800 028 2420.

Suggested Resources