Is Cell Phone Use Stealing Your Company Time?

Posted on September 24, 2013 by - Also by this author

Is it business or personal? Do you have a policy on office cell phone use?
 
During a recent editorial meeting of LCT Magazine staffers, we discussed the usage of cell phones by office personnel in our industry. It is a universal problem with no apparent solution. In most business offices, personal cell phone use is completely banned for good reason. The most basic premise is the lost productivity and the fact that you are paying your employee to sit and text with friends and families, browsing social media sites, or worse yet, playing addictive games such as Candy Crush, Words with Friends and Farmville. This is simply not fair to the company. It is the same as taking a ream of paper home in my opinion.

Let me break down the amount of theft that may be occurring. If you pay an employee $10 an hour, then each minute is valued at 17 cents. Let’s say an employee uses a cell phone four times an hour with each text session lasting three minutes. That’s 68 cents wasted each hour. That doesn’t seem like much. But in a 40-hour week, that’s $27.20 that you paid your employee to handle personal business and not your own. Let’s say you have four employees in the office all doing about the same volume of texting. Now, you are taking a loss of $108.80 per week or $5,657.60 in a year. That’s enough for a down payment on a new car!

Using cell phones at work is also distracting to the employee’s job, making them less attentive. Statistics show that employees make many more mistakes when they are not focused on the task you hired them to do.
 
I am not an advocate of complete elimination of cell phone use in the office, as is the case at my wife’s workplace. I believe that single parents need to be able to communicate with their children. Some employees have a legitimate work requirement to text with drivers in the field about trip details, traffic problems, time changes, start and ending mileage and the list goes on and on. But how do you decide who can use their phone and who can’t?  How do you know if it is a business text or personal? I’m not about to say, “Let me see your phone” as that would be a complete privacy invasion.
 
I realize I have the same problem in my own office. I don’t know how to stop it other than relying on employees to self-police themselves and resist the urge to use their phones while on the clock. My colleague, Linda Jagiela, is working on a much broader feature article to tackle this topic and perhaps we will adopt new policies once this situation has been aired within the industry. 
 
So, join in on this blog and tell me how you handle cell phone use in your office. What do you think is excessive? Working together with peers in the industry, we should be able to come up with a fair and reasonable policy to recognize the role of cell phones in life and learn to spot abuse of employees continually stealing time from the company and degrading their work performance at the same time.

— Jim Luff, LCT contributing editor

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More Shop Talk Blog Posts

November 30, 2016

Limo Street Tales: The Cops Just Needed Hot Chocolate

Series: How to handle difficult run-ins with law enforcement over a limousine.

November 30, 2016

Dangerous Distractions: Safety Tips For Commercial Vehicle Drivers

Driving Gem: Plenty of things unrelated to phones can result in accidents.

November 28, 2016

How To Prevent The Most Common Chauffeur Injury

Driving Gem: Lifting and handling luggage is never good for the back.

November 18, 2016

Limo Street Tales: The Angry LAX Police Officer

See how I talked my way out of this common nuisance for waiting chauffeurs.

November 9, 2016

Move Your Limo Or Else You'll Get Towed

In my face off between a chauffeur in a stretch and a restaurant security guard, who wins when the police show up? 

See More

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (0)

Post a Comment

Submit

Blogs

See More

See More

See More

See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - December 2016 $12.95 GLOBAL/INTERNATIONAL ISSUE COVER STORY: * The Coolest Operators on the Planet * *



Connect

Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close