The pros and cons of personal cellphones

Many millennials rely on text to report absences — but that can be problematic
By Laura Williams
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 07/12/2016

SunTech owner Bob Mitchell had this to say when asked to explain his decision to ban workplace cellphone use: “Productivity, it all comes down to productivity.” 

Apparently, he’s not alone in regarding mobile phones as a drain on employees’ attentiveness and ability to perform job-related duties. A whopping 61 per cent of employers said their workers spend too much time making personal phone calls, texting or checking personal emails while on the job, according to a survey of 8,824 business owners by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business released earlier this year.

Bans by companies such as SunTech beg the question: Is the decision to impose a sweeping cellphone prohibition ever the right one, particularly when companies are in a heated battle to attract, engage and retain the very best talent their industries have to offer? The answer likely depends on the type of business in question. What we do know is technology in the workplace is here to stay — and employers will have to learn how to effectively manage its use if they hope to hire top performers.