Cellphones in spotlight after employer bans

Can boost productivity, interaction
By Sarah Dobson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/21/2016

Tired of finding employees secretly texting in his greenhouse, Bob Mitchell recently decided to ban personal cellphone use. The move generated headlines but Mitchell, owner of SunTech Greenhouses in Manotick, Ont., said he did what he had to do.

“It became a total ban: Leave your cellphones in the staff room. If you want to skip lunch and catch up with your friends, texting, fine. I don’t care. But when you’re on my clock, I have to have you working... In a competitive world, you have to do everything you can.”

A little bit of texting became more texting, said Mitchell, “and then you get into the Facebook stuff and, before you know it, it’s way out of control... And in a group environment, if you have one or two that are sitting still texting while the others are working, then the workload gets shifted out of balance — that creates negative attitude in the staff.”