Cell phones and mobile devices are an integral part of our personal and professional lives. But the ubiquity of this technology has created a unique set of issues that you may not have addressed in your employee handbook. That’s why it’s vital to create a cell phone policy at work.
Issues regarding cell phone use at work that can affect your business include:
- Accessing inappropriate content or images during work hours.
- Overuse of cellular devices that leads to a drop in employee productivity.
- Continual distractions for other employees.
- The use of texts, emails, and photographs in litigation and arbitration.
These problems can have consequences for businesses of all types and sizes. Don’t assume that only businesses with multiple employees should implement a cell phone policy. Even if you have only one employee, you need a cell phone policy.
But how do you go about creating your own cell phone policy at work? The experts at Sling reveal everything you need to know and provide a template to get you started.
How To Implement A Cell Phone Policy At Work
Here are five simple steps for implementing your own cell phone policy at work.
1) Put Your Cell Phone Policy In Writing
You should always put your cell phone policy in writing, make it a part of your employee handbook, and have everyone sign that they understand it. Include language that covers all technology that can access the internet and send and receive phone calls and texts.
To make sure everyone reads the new material, you can use Sling’s Task feature to create a to-do list for you and your employees. You can even set a due date and send reminders as the date approaches.
2) Include Security Concerns, Accountability, And Permissible Use
Security is important, so it’s vital to address security concerns in your cell phone policy. You should also mention accountability so employees know that termination is a possibility if they break the rules.
Remember to include guidelines for when team members may use their personal cell phones during work hours.
3) Enumerate What Is Not Permitted
Be specific when enumerating what types of cell phone use at work your employees are not permitted to conduct. Include items such as:
- Cell phone use while driving a company vehicle.
- Excessively long calls during work hours.
- Inappropriate camera use.
- Inappropriate voice recorder use.
- Downloading, uploading, or viewing offensive, obscene, or discriminatory images and text.
To give you an idea of how to incorporate all the necessary information in your cell phone policy, we’ve created a policy template below. Feel free to tailor this template to your specific business, and when you need to make updates, use Sling’s Newsfeed feature to alert all your team members.
Employee Cell Phone Policy Template
<Insert company logo, name, and/or information here>
Employee Cell Phone Policy
This employee cell phone policy outlines <insert company name here> guidelines for using cell phones and other mobile devices at work.
We recognize that smartphones are an integral part of everyday life and are a great asset if used for productivity apps, calendars, business calls, and the like. But smartphones are a detriment to focus and efficiency if used unwisely and excessively during business hours.
Our cell phone policy applies to all owners, managers, and employees.
Employees who use smartphones excessively during work hours may:
- Disturb colleagues by making unnecessary calls.
- Get distracted from their work.
- Cause problems or accidents when they use their cell phones inside company vehicles or in areas where phones are prohibited.
- Create security issues by misusing personal devices or the company’s internet connection.
<Insert company name here> expects all employees to use cell phones in a sensible manner during work hours.
Employees are advised to:
- Use personal and company-issued devices for business purposes only.
- Maintain company-issued equipment in like-new condition.
- Talk, text, and use the internet on their personal cell phone or mobile device only a few minutes per day.
- Turn off or silence any cell phones/devices when asked.
Employees are not allowed to:
- Play games on their cell phone (personal or company-issued) during work hours.
- Use their device’s camera or microphone to record confidential business information.
- Use their device (personal or company-issued) for any reason while driving a company vehicle.
- Use their device in an area where cell use is explicitly prohibited (e.g., some courthouses, laboratories, meetings).
- Disturb colleagues by speaking on their phone for personal reasons during work hours.
- Download, upload, or view inappropriate, illegal, or obscene material on any device or over the business’s internet connection.
Employees are allowed to:
- Make business calls.
- Check important messages.
- Use productivity apps.
- Make brief personal calls away from the workspace of colleagues.
- Use their phones and devices during breaks.
- Use their phones and devices during the lunch hour.
- Use their phone or device while in a parked vehicle.
<Insert company name here> reserves the right to monitor employees for inappropriate and/or excessive use of cellular devices. If device usage results in a decline in productivity or interferes with normal business operations, management will suspend the employee’s right to use a cellular device.
Employees are subject to severe disciplinary action (up to and including termination) in cases where they:
- Violate the company confidentiality policy.
- Cause a security breach.
- Cause an accident through reckless use of a mobile device.
<Insert company contact information here>
4) Distribute Your Cell Phone Policy In Multiple Formats
Once you’ve created your cell phone policy, distribute it to everyone in multiple formats. Send an email to all employees that includes the text of the policy or a link where they can view it. If it’s not cost prohibitive, print the cell phone policy and make sure all your team members receive a hard copy.
Finally, use Sling’s Messages feature to send the cell phone policy to all your employees so they can stay informed.
5) Enforce The Policy Consistently And At All Times
As with every other company policy, your employees need to know that you will enforce the rules consistently and at all times. Your cell phone policy applies to each and every team member from the newest hire up to the owner of the business.
If exceptions are necessary, explain your reasoning to each and every employee so they can learn from the situation.
Institute A Cell Phone Policy At Work To Improve Productivity
A carefully crafted cell phone policy at work not only protects your business from legal issues, but it also improves focus and morale as well.
Your employees will no longer be constantly distracted by incoming texts, phone calls, and alerts on their phones or devices and on those of their colleagues. This makes for a much more productive work environment. That’s good for your team members and your business.
For more management resources and for tools to help you schedule your employees, visit GetSling.com today.