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Should There Be A Policy Against Use Of Mobile And Office Equipment For Personal Use?

Human Resources Advisory

Breaks play an essential role in increasing employee productivity, but when these breaks extend for long periods, it can cost your company time, money, and productivity.

A survey conducted with a sample size of 2,138 mangers and 3,022 full-time employees, indicated that 24 percent of employees spend at least an hour making personal calls, emails, and texts.

The top contender in time wasting activities were texting and phone call (50 percent), gossiping (42 percent), surfing the internet (39 percent), and social media use (38 percent).

This means that employees are using hours, on your payroll, to perform tasks that are not contributing to the company’s productivity. The best plan to limit wasted office hours is by developing and implementing a streamlined policy for internet, personal device, and office equipment usage.

Is There A Need Of Policy?

  • A policy will restrict time wasted on social media sites; the time saved can be put to use a productive manner
  • Without any restriction on internet usage, employees can be downloading sexual content from websites, which can later lead to a harassment lawsuit
  • Confidential files and documents need to be protected, and with email surveillance, you can keep a track of information flow of your company
  • Blocking external URLs and social media pages can prevent employees from wasting time surfing on the web
  • Monitoring internet activity, you can save employees from online scams
  • Sometimes limiting or banning the use of cellphones is essential for workers safety on the production floor, as heavy machinery requires a lot of concentration.

Should There Be A Restrictive Policy?

Build A Cohesive Policy Human Relations Service

Employees should know if a certain behavior is discouraged and should be reprimanded if the behavior persists.

Formulate a personal device and office equipment use policy; it should guide employees about usage etiquettes, security policy, access rights, and penalty of violating the policy.

You can hire a HR advisory service to develop and implement the plan for you. Document the policy and make employees read and sign the document to facilitate any disciplinary action in the future.

Bring Focus On Performance

Your policy should represent your stance regarding device usage; it should be more focused on performance than prohibiting a behavior.

You can also take a case-by-case approach, if your star employee is text savvy, but is also producing remarkable results, their mobile usage should not be a concerning issue; whereas, if an underperforming employee is failing to provide results and is spending countless hours on anything but work, you need to bring this problem in notice.

Acceptable Boundaries

Completely restricting the use of phones or internet can breed ill-feelings among employees; instead, cultivate the culture of smart and reasonable breaks.

Educate employees about ways to use time productively and how to schedule their day.

Once you have set boundaries for personal time and calls during a work day, get your employees on the same page so there is no room for confusion.

Get in touch with DFRI to develop and implement a cohesive policy for your workplace. All our policies are developed to promote strategic employee relations. We work with managers to tailor industry and business specific policies.

Apart from this, we also provide conflict resolution, HR consultancy and advisory services to managers and business owners.