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Business Owners & Managers

Why You Should Implement a Time Management Policy for Cell Phone Use at Work

By Jim Nelson from J and J Lawn Service

The use of the cell phone in today's business operations is a necessity. With this technology come both positive and negative impacts on the efficiency of the business.

If you have employees, then your employee handbook has to address the company policy of cell phone usage while on the clock. This will prevent any misunderstanding from the employee throughout their employment.

Make sure to include the consequences for violations of the policy.

The downside to not having established practices on the use of cell phones is a lack of production resulting in income loss for the company. In my opinion in today's society it has become a large work distraction.

Employees spend far too much time on their cell phone. While on a dedicated break or lunch, the phone can be used but given the summer heat here in Florida, they still must be eating and drinking or they may become a heat casualty at some point in the day.

You see this misuse of phones occurring daily in every type of business.

Taking Calls and Text Messages

If you fail to establish guidelines this will become your biggest distractor and can get out of control very quickly. It will consume more time then you can ever imagine.

I will share some of my personal practices with you that work for me. I do not operate a 7 day / 24 hour a day business as some potential customers tend to believe.

Since I'm on every job site I generally don't answer calls or texts unless they are from my family; they don't call me while I'm working unless there is an emergency. My voicemail is setup and I return calls on the way to the next job via Bluetooth, during lunch break or at the close of the business day.

Calls received after hours are returned the following morning. Weekend calls are returned on Monday morning. My customers are made aware of my phone procedures during our agreement to commence services.

I often have customers who will ask to be called or texted when I'm on the way to their property. This becomes very time consuming by taking time before and after each project.

I have one longtime customer that I make an exception for due to some very large dogs and outside play area; by me notifying them when I'm on the way to the property they have all their dogs put away, the gates unlocked and yard picked up before I arrive saving me time when I get there.

My scheduling tells my customers what day I will be there and whether in the morning or afternoon.

You may choose to have a dedicated employee that handles all service calls and inquiries; if your company is large enough. Another consideration is a service provider who offers answering services when you're not available. I handle it myself with self-placed guidelines.

I hope this has provided some insight on cell phone usage and possibly assist you with establishing your best practices. I wish you the very best!

J and J Lawn Service
UAG Member 2018
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