Mobile phones are an ever-increasing part of people’s lives and therefore phone use at work is a growing concern among today’s employers. Specifically, texting, which is favoured by most employees due to its discreetness and convenience.
It’s understandable that employers would worry about texting’s impact on productivity. Most employers consider it a productivity drain and in some cases, it really is. In most instances, however, understand that employee texting is no more a drain on productivity than employee water cooler, coffee/ tea break or bathroom breaks. Most employees treat texting like any other form of short break and are generally very responsible with how they choose to use their time.
I recently came across a situation where a Managing Director implemented a company-wide mobile phone ban, which I think could have the exact opposite effect on productivity than if you’d allowed them to keep their phones at their desks. This is partly due to the fact that employees hate being treated like children and also because mobile phones have become a necessity in today's world. Not only do employees rely on their phones to notify them in case of emergencies, but many have also come to rely on occasional text messages from family members to provide much needed pick-me-ups when their mood at work begins to plummet!
Employees using their cell phones at work has topped a list of what their bosses consider the biggest productivity killers in the workplace. Fifty percent of employers surveyed nationally named cell phones and texting as the main bad habits getting in the way of work getting done, while good old fashioned office gossip was their second biggest bugbear. According to the survey, 24 percent of employers list ‘noisy co-workers’ as an obstacle to productivity, while another 23 percent say coworkers stopping by each other’s work spaces are to blame.