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Thread: Cellphone/internet use at work

  1. #1
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    Default Cellphone/internet use at work

    A few years ago, I had a boss that completely prohibited cellphone usage (he demanded that workers leave their phones in their car) and he strictly monitored what websites we went on. Basically, you weren't allowed to look at anything entertaining for your entire shift (even on break), unless you went to the bathroom and did it there. It was so painfully boring that co-workers would look to the little headlines that popped up on the browser homepage for entertainment and a source of discussion.

    I felt this was unnecessarily extreme. From my boss' perspective, I'm sure he'd say he's paying us to be there so we should be working at all times. But this perspective doesn't take into account that people's focus naturally waxes and wanes anyway. Taking little breaks can actually give you a boost when you get back to work. I've seen a lot of psychological studies that support the idea that regular breaks are a good thing.

    Granted, I wouldn't want to encourage my workers to waste time, but I don't really see the need to be this strict. At my current job, the boss doesn't care if we use our phones or the internet as long as we get our work done. If it really became a problem and things weren't getting done, I would address it in some way, but not prohibit it. Maybe just say something like "cellphone use is for urgent matters only" and not bother enforcing it. And anyway, your workers can always just go the bathroom and use their phone in there. Ultimately, I definitely think that sometimes, cellphone/internet use at work isn't a big deal. It's just hard to properly define "sometimes" in official company policy. So maybe just have it in the books but don't enforce it. Or just don't prohibit it at all and simply judge the employees on whether or not they're getting their work done.
    Last edited by bighead384; 3 Weeks Ago at 08:56 AM.
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  2. #2
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    I've worked in places with that overly strict policy and it sucked. I've also worked in places without it where the employees were totally distracted and half-assed everything which I then had to fix. Getting the happy medium seems tricky.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paint_It_Black View Post
    I've worked in places with that overly strict policy and it sucked. I've also worked in places without it where the employees were totally distracted and half-assed everything which I then had to fix. Getting the happy medium seems tricky.
    Right. A lax policy on cellphone/internet use can definitely become problematic, I understand that. I just find prohibiting all of it to be fucking awful. Personally, I could bring myself to institute a policy like that.

    One thing I'll say though, is that I imagine that as time progresses, more and more places will have lenient policies on these things. At this point in time, the majority of people in management positions grew up in a time where they didn't deal with the temptation of using your smartphone every so often, so they're naturally less understanding about it.
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    As long as you don't hire fucktards who won't get their work done if there's any distraction, this is useless. Studies show that productivity decreases when there are strict bans on these kinds of things. To have good productivity, you have to be a good boss. If you feel you need to ban internet and phone usage, that tells me you're a bad boss.
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    Hm..completely banning seems a bit harsh - are they taking into account potential emergency phone calls? - say a partner/family has had an accident and you are their next of kin. It's perfectly in someone's legal right to respond to that and take carer leave if ness (um I only know about the Uk tho), sooo I don't really see how a manager could not let you at least have the phone on you :s Unless their argument is that you can leave your work number as a nok contact perhaps.

    Psychology models on selective attention dictate that there is a capacity to how much you can pay attention to in one moment and how much you are trying to pay attention to will affect your subsequent semantic processing. Use of mobiles would hinder your current thought processes and have a negative effect on your workload management. Kinda basing that on Broadbent's filter model and Treisman's attenuation model which are both kinda outdated..and that's if you are trying to work and play at the same time. A small mental break on the other hand no doubt can refresh you and increase your attention span dramatically Sooo allowing phone use and controlled small breaks is beneficial to prolonged working, whereas if you are trying to sneakily look at your phone as it's been banned..that's far more detrimental to your workload then if you allocated time for a break in the first place. *makes sense in my head* xD

    I would argue with neurology - that the brain has evolved to enable the visual system to be preferential in processing relevant stimuli.. I can look at my mobile and have the common sense to focus on work when it demands my full attention :P

    I ramble when i'm tired sorry D: And I've forgot the question Maybe I'm not so great at focussing on multiple things :P

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  6. #6
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    I think strict banning of cellphones and internet use is counterproductive. I work 7:30am - 5:30 am shift, with 1 hour lunch break. I cannot imagine working the whole straight 9 hours without a little mind break!

    If people work without those breaks to distract your mind a bit, they get tired and it affects their mood, which, I don't want to seem dramatic but, can make them hate their job or even cause depression.

    I think it is sane for companies to give employees a bit of their space and respect their use of cellphones and trust in the correct use of the resources. But, of course, people must act professional and don't abuse those liberties, because, yes, there are a lot of dorks who don't commit to their responsibilities and end up facebooking shit or watching cat videos all day long and it's because of them that restrictions come for everyone.

  7. #7
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    If you can't live without your cel phone during working hours, you have issues. You are being paid to be somewhat productive, and cell phone use is not productive. During a break, no big deal. But if you expect to be paid for sitting on your phone discussing personal issues while being paid, you should have no problem answering your phone on your day off and discussing work related issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOTO13 View Post
    If you can't live without your cel phone during working hours, you have issues. You are being paid to be somewhat productive, and cell phone use is not productive.
    Funny you said that because you were texting me while you were working this morning. So guess you weren't productive at all.

  9. #9
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    Shut up. Shut the fuck up, you close your yapper. I am allowed to do whatever the hell I want. I write the checks.

  10. #10
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    I get paid to use my cellphone. So yeah..
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