Banning Cellphones in the Workplace

The conversation that lingers around cellphone use in the workplace is often skewed toward younger adults. Compared to younger staff member, many older workers use their mobile phones much less often during work hours. But does this trend indicate that there’s a problem with employees who do use their phones? It’s important to notice employees’ cellphone behaviors before deciding if there is a workplace issue.


Some work places have a ban on personal cellphone use at the office. This often takes place in fast food restaurants and call centers. In positions that require a lot of social interaction with clients or making lifesaving decisions, cell phones are probably best left turned off or put away except in an emergency.


The presence of technology and how it is used in everyday life can be very different for someone born in the late 1990s and someone else born in the 1950s. To some it may look like a bad habit or an addiction, but a lot of younger workers grew up using the internet every day as a regular part of life. A younger person might appear to always be on their phone or scrolling through the internet, but that’s not always the case. Millenials are really good at using Google to research topics, ideas, and solutions.

However, there are behaviors that may be inappropriate at work and could affect the productivity of one or many employees. Here are some patterns that may cause concern:

• Taking a lot of personal calls
• Missing deadlines
• Playing games
• Phone is always buzzing and ringing
• Use during meetings


The use of personal cellphones and the internet at the workplace isn’t a right; it’s a privilege. Use of technology at work shouldn’t be causing distractions for the user or those around them. If you see disruptive behaviors occurring, you may want to take action and limit phone use. Before speaking with an employee, check with your human resources office to find out if the company has rules and guidelines about personal technology use. Keep in mind that moderation is the key. Too much of something is not a good thing whether it’s cellphone use, chatting with coworkers, tardiness, or missed deadlines.

What do you think? If cellphones were banned at your workplace, would you still be able to get your work done, or do you think you’d be more productive? Let us know in the comments below.

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