How To Use Mobile Phones At Work

Someone using his phone at work

Who doesn't love the convenience of a mobile phone? Your family and friends can reach you at any time, for any reason, no matter where you are...even at work. While that accessibility may be a great way to stay in touch with your loved ones during the day, your mobile phone use at work can distract you from doing your job and it may annoy your boss or coworkers.

Many employers have formal policies that govern when or where workers may use their mobile phones. ​In some workplaces, they are off limits altogether. In others, while policies do not entirely forbid them, they are frowned upon. Become familiar with the policy at your job, whether formal or informal, before you even think of using your device on company time.

Even if your boss allows you to use a cell phone at work, you should use good judgment about how you do it. Be mindful of your coworkers and your boss, not to mention your own ability to get your job done. Here are some rules you should follow:

1. Turn Your Ringer Off

If you have your mobile phone with you at work, don't let it ring out loud. If you don't want to turn it off completely, at least set it to vibrate. The sounds of different ring tones going off all the time can be very annoying to others. In addition, you don't want your boss to know how often you get calls, do you?   

2. Use Your Mobile Phone Only for Important Calls

If you have your mobile phone at work, only use it for important calls. What should you classify as an important call? The school nurse calling to say your child is ill, your child calling to say he's arrived home from school safely, and family emergencies that you must deal with immediately are important.

Your friend calling to chat, your child calling to say the dog had an accident on the rug, or your mom calling to tell you your cousin, Folake, is engaged can all wait until you are done with work or on a break.     

3. Find A Private Place To Make Mobile Phone Calls

While it's okay to use your mobile phone at work for private calls during breaks, do it away from your desk. Find somewhere else to talk, where no one can overhear your conversation. Do this even if what you are discussing isn't personal. You may be on a break, but your coworkers are not.  

4. Don't Bring Your Mobile Phones Into The Rest Room Ever

Please follow this rule regardless of whether you are using your phone at work or elsewhere. Why? Well, if you must ask—you never know who is in there; the person on the other end of the line will hear bathroom sounds, e.g. toilets flushing; it is an invasion of your coworkers' privacy.         

5. Don't Bring Your Mobile Phones To Meetings

In addition to using mobile phones to talk or text, they have become an essential work tool. With that in mind, this rule should read "Don't Bring Your Mobile Phone to Meetings If You Are Going to Use It for Anything Not Related to the Meeting." You may have your calendar on your phone, and you may even use an app on it to take notes. If you need to have it with you for those reasons, then you don't have much of a choice.   

However, do not text, check your social media news feeds, post your status, watch movies or play games. Don't bury your nose in your phone. Keep your eyes up and stay engaged in the meeting. Doing anything else will be a clear signal to your boss that your mind isn't completely on the business at hand.