Texting on the Job

I think we can all admit to being a little overly attached to our phones, so much so that I sometimes find myself on my phone without really realizing it. And although there aren’t many major consequences for this when you are at home, there can be severe complications when you’re on the clock.

A friend of mine recently lost her job and one of the reasons her boss listed was that she seemed distracted and was on her phone too much. This all came as a complete shock to her because she didn’t feel that she was on her phone too much and her bosses had never said anything to her that would make her think they weren’t satisfied with her quality of work.

This raised a lot of questions for me like how much time spent on your phone is deemed too much by your boss. You could think your use is infrequent, but this might still be too much in the eyes of your boss. Also, are we so attached to our phones that we sometimes find ourselves on them without even noticing? I definitely find myself on my phone almost constantly if I don’t have anything going on and could see myself definitely using it without realizing. When I hear my phone make a noise now it is basically instinct to check it.

When she talked to them more about their decision they said that they had a meeting once while she was employed where they mentioned that everyone should be better about not looking at their phone, and they thought that this should have covered the topic. She said that this meeting was soon after she started working with them and they never mentioned it again in the several months she worked there.

In this day in age is just mentioning something once, especially when it comes to cell phone use, enough to really get people to listen and comply? In my opinion it is not. You can’t mention something to anyone once and expect them to remember it or make changes, especially after several months. Because people are so attached to their phones this should be something that is probably mentioned weekly at meetings.

I think employers should be a little more explicit about how much time spent on a phone is acceptable and they should also remind employees more frequently, potentially at weekly meetings. This is unfortunately an issue with today’s culture and it is a hard habit to break. People can’t be penalized when they didn’t realize they were doing anything wrong.

Emma vanBree

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