Should You Ban (or Encourage) Electronic Devices in the Workplace

An overwhelming 68% of adults in the U.S. have a smartphone — nearly double the 2011 rate of 35% — and 45% have a tablet, according to a 2015 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center. Given the odds, there’s a very good chance all or at least most of your employees have at least one of these devices — and they’re bringing them to work.

There’s a number of different opinions on whether to allow these electronic devices into the workplace, but barring extreme circumstances, it’s best to just accept them. Technology is constantly changing the way we live, so it’s much better to adapt than try to resist.

As with most workplace topics, it’s important to have a policy in place governing the use of these devices, as it’s inevitable someone will try to push the limits. Get everyone on the same page by making it clear what type of behavior is acceptable and what isn’t, then use this technology to your advantage.

4 Reasons to Embrace Electronic Devices in Your Workplace

Make Employees Brand Evangelists

Encourage employees to use their devices to share positive updates about your company on social media. Content like Instagram posts of fun team meetings and tweets about how much people love their job is free advertising for your organization, promoting it as a great place to work. Firsthand information from current and former employees is the only way to find out about daily life at your company, so expect an influx of applications when a host of glowing information is readily available on social media.

Institute a BYOD Policy

If employees are bringing their own smartphones and tablets to work anyway, create a bring your own device (BYOD) policy. Everyone benefits, because employees get to use a device of their choosing and you can seriously cut costs. Instead of footing the entire bill for work phones, you pay the employee a monthly stipend based on usage.

Stay Connected Outside the Office

Keeping tabs on multiple devices is a hassle, so it’s much easier to reach team members outside the office when they’re only using one device. If you need to call, text or email someone at night or on the weekend, they’ll see the message much faster if it’s on their primary device. Of course, you should never abuse this, but when necessary, it’s great to have your team more accessible.

Boost Productivity Levels

Research suggests that taking small smartphone breaks throughout the day can actually increase productivity, instead of hindering it. A 2014 study by Kansas State University doctoral student Sooyeol Kim revealed employees who take short smartphone breaks are happier at the end of the workday, as interacting with family and friends or playing a quick game boosts their well-being and helps them re-charge.

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