Letting employees have unrestricted access to their cell phone during the day sounds like it would be a bad idea. With easy access to social media, text messages, and apps, it would seem like your employees would never get any work done if they can work with their phone by their side!
There’s no doubt that cell phones can be a big distraction, but they don’t have to be. There are actually many benefits to letting your employees have access to their cell phone during the day.
It Can Remind Them to Take Breaks
Although it may sound good on the surface to get as many working minutes out of employees as possible, it’s actually much better that everyone gets a chance to take a break. By doing something non-work related every so often throughout the day, you can actually focus better, be more productive, and come up with better ideas, even if you’re technically working less.
In addition, not giving employees breaks can result in accidents. From factory workers to those who sit at a desk all day, doing the same motions for hours at a time can result in an injury, which means dealing with workman’s comp claims. Cell phones can help!
Encourage your employees to download a work break app and their phone can remind them when it’s time to step away for a few minutes. A few of the best apps to consider include:
- Stand Up! tells you when to stand and for how long to stand
- Eye Care Plus is great for those who stare at screens all day and need a break to improve their vision
- Randomly RemindMe allows you to choose what kinds of breaks you take
It Can Help Them Work Harder
Not only can apps help employees remember to take breaks, apps can also help them work harder. There are many apps that employees can use to encourage themselves to focus on their work.
Some apps work to make you feel guilty. For example, Forest enables you to plant a tree and set a timer, but the tree dies if you become distracted before the timer goes off. Some enable you to create soothing background noises, while others block certain websites so you aren’t tempted to visit them while you’re working. Help your employees find an app that works for them and their phone can actually help them stay focused at work!
It Keeps You From Having to Buy Employee Devices
There are some benefits of getting your employees their own work phones, but there are plenty of cons too. It means your employees have to juggle multiple phones, having work phones is way more work for IT departments, and it can be costly to update and replace devices all the time.
It’s a lot easier to let your employees use their own phones for both work and personal matters. Even if you have to reimburse them for their phone usage and set up security measures to make sure sensitive company information is safe, your employees will appreciate the convenience of being able to use their own phone all day, every day.
They Can Deal With Personal Matters on a Personal Device
If you’ve got a crew that works during regular business hours, dealing with personal issues can be a nightmare. Banks, doctors, auto repair shops, and seemingly every other place that requires an appointment is only open during regular business hours. Instead of making your employees use company phones to conduct all their personal matters, they can do it on their cell phone. From making appointments to talking to a banker about a loan, it’s better for your employees and your company if all that is done on a personal device.
It Brings Employees Peace of Mind
Life doesn’t just stop because your employees arrive to work. Going to work can be especially difficult for adults with families. Your employees will enjoy having the peace of mind that comes with having their cell phone on and near them while they work.
Whether it’s school, daycare, or their loved one has an important appointment at the doctor, everyone in the office can stay up to date on everything that’s happening, even while they’re at work. If the phone isn’t ringing, they can be certain everything is well. If the phone has to be put on silent and put away in a drawer, it’s easy for employees to spend the day worrying instead of working.
It Demonstrates Trust
Trust is important in the workplace. If you want your employees to trust you, start by trusting them. One easy way to do that is to enable them to have and use their cell phone throughout the day.
By allowing your employees to have their phone near them and on during the day, you are telling them that you trust them to get work done without being distracted. This trust alone will make your employees want to prove that your trust was placed correctly, which means working efficiently without letting their phone distract them when it shouldn’t.
It Can Increase Employee Retention
Losing employees is costly. It’s much better to keep the employees you have, especially if you’ve done the work to source employees who are a good fit for their role and your company. Keeping people around for the long haul means providing employees with reasonable working hours and benefits, but it also means doing little things, like letting them have their cell phones during work hours.
This small gesture shows them that you are willing to allow them to work autonomously without an unreasonable amount of control, and it shows them that their comfort and peace of mind matters to you, which makes employees more likely to stick around.
Don’t think that making everyone turn off their cell phone and put it in a locked drawer is the answer to greater focus and productivity. It can actually be the key to a more productive and happier workforce!