Disruptive Phone Behavior

Q: We have an employee who is constantly on their phone for personal business. While we understand they need to check in with their family, it gets out of hand and keeps them from doing work. It also disrupts the office keeping everyone else from being able to do their work efficiently. What can we do?

A: You can, and should, address the issues with the employee. Explain that the excessive time is impacting their productivity as well as those around them. If you have rest and meal breaks, require they restrict personal calls and texts to those times except for emergencies. Perhaps make an exception in certain situations such as when their child calls to say they got home from school, but then enforce a strict time limit on the conversation or tell the employee to use that as their rest break. You can also require employees to lock their phone in lockers, desks, or vehicles or, if they are accessible, have them silence any tones or sounds to be less disruptive.

As with all policies, be consistent in enforcing it, requiring all employees to follow the same requirements.

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