QHow do you manage mobile phone use in the office?

Gabriela Maloney, DO

Gabriela Maloney, DO

Forefront Dermatology
Brookfield, WI

Mobile phones have become part of everyone’s must haves and are more prevalent than ever. On top of that smart watches give you the ability to read and respond to text messages and emails, making people more connected than ever. In an era of TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook, technology can present a challenge to productivity in the work place. On the other hand, social media can be a powerful marketing tool for a dermatology office, with staff sometimes being in charge of managing the social presence. The big question is how to manage mobile phone use in the office in order to maximize productivity while still keeping it a modern and pleasant work place.

I work for a large single specialty group, and in my clinic we have a mobile phone usage policy stating that employees must restrict personal calls and texting during work time to only scheduled breaks or lunch periods in non-working areas. Other personal calls should be made during non-work time whenever possible. The use of electronic imaging function of mobile phones is strictly prohibited on clinic premises unless approved by a company director, and transmission of any clinic information, logos, data, and/or photos of the premises or patients, employees, contractors, subcontractors or visitors is strictly forbidden. Employees are required to read, acknowledge and sign the mobile phone usage policy form, which also applies to company provided mobile phones and use of mobile devices for company related purposes while driving.

These policies also apply to mobile phone “extensions” such as a smart watch. Employees that violate the policy can be subject to disciplinary actions determined by our HR department, but thankfully we have not had any issues. I’m a strong believer that building a good relationship with your staff and striving for a more efficient work place can be extremely helpful in avoiding excessive use of mobile phones that could be disruptive to the daily grind. A happy and engaged employee will be less likely to mindlessly check social media on their mobile phone during work hours.