Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about cell phones:
Can managers really say you can’t use your cell phones during break? They say it distracts us.
Signed, Needing To Talk
Dear Needing To Talk:
Any time you are on company property management can set rules for behavior and approved activities. Most companies will allow cell phone use during breaks and lunch as long as the phones are not used in work areas or in common areas where others gather and where the phones could be disturbing and distracting. I would imagine one or more employees has used their phones inappropriately and that has led to the rule. Here are some of the most common frustrations employees write to us about: Loud talking, taking photos, talking about co-workers either obviously or in code, distracting others because of other issues related to the call; being late back to work, spending an entire break time with the phone to the ear and unable to respond to any other communications, playing games on the phone in a way that is distracting, having a jarring ring tone that is irritating or distracting; texting as others are talking; texting in a way that makes others think their conversations are being forwarded and just the general frustration of one sided conversations being heard.