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Is Employee Cell Phone Use Bad For Business?

line of business people on their phones at a conference table

Is Employee Cell Phone Use Bad For Business?

Eighty percent of Americans own one. They hold the title as the foremost method of communication among adults under 50. They’re small, they’re mighty, and they’re here to stay: the ever popular smartphones. In the workplace employee cell phone use is oftentimes deemed an unwelcome disturbance.  But are employers overlooking the potential to turn smartphone use in the workplace into a major asset?

Busting The Myths

As a working adult, I have never encountered an employer who did not include a thorough “cell phone policy” somewhere in the employee handbook. Employer cell phone policies include harsh words such as, “limit use to break room only” or even “banned in the workplace”. The belief that smartphones are the enemy of all workplace productivity has become a running theme among many employers. In actuality, there is vast potential for employers to benefit from smartphone activity among their employees. In order for employers to tap into the advantages smartphones may offer their businesses, they must first address some of the common misconceptions about cell phone use in the workplace.

“Phones Should Be Banned at Work”

MYTH: Banning employees from use of cell phones in the workplace can significantly lower staff morale. While employers may believe that banning mobile phones will increase workplace productivity, it can actually make employees anxious, distracted, and cause them to break policy just to be able to check for an emergency text or call. Banning or severely restricting cell phone use in the workplace can remove a necessary comfort from employees, thus resulting in lower productivity and morale in the office. In truth, micromanaging hurts business morale much more than it helps productivity.

“Smartphones Are Just Distractions from Work”

MYTH: With unlimited apps, games and ways to communicate, smartphones may seem like a way to escape from the workday. In actuality, there are thousands of apps designed specifically for productivity, time management, and even business efficiency. In other words: employees being on their phones at work might actually take a business to the next level. Let’s look at how.

close up of red headed woman on her cell phone with social media symbolsThe Real Benefits

Marketing:
Social media has become the most popular and crucial marketing tool for businesses. Along with providing a medium to reach the masses at a low cost, social media marketing provides businesses with measurable results. If employees used their employer in a hashtag every day while at their desk, an increase in company online visibility would be inevitable. If the company’s social media pages get an increase in clicks, likes, friends and mentions, the company’s search engine optimization rankings improve, thus resulting in more traffic and opportunity for increase. Crucial and measurable increase in company visibility is accessible to employers, directly through their employee’s use of digital marketing through daily smartphone activity.

Efficiency & Communication:
Smartphone use in the workplace can offer employers an efficient, comfortable and affordable way to interact with employees. There are low-cost applications available to employers that allow employees to clock in, manage their hours, and even send private messages to management, all from their mobile devices.

The list of potential benefits available through employee smartphone usage goes far beyond social media marketing and easy communication. Along with boosting staff morale and overall innovativeness of a business, the tools available through employees and their devices can truly benefit employers financially and fundamentally. Once the stigma is removed, smartphones in the workplace might just be the next greatest tool for workplace success.

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