Workplace Texting

:confused: If you provide cellphones for certain employees, what would you do if the monthly bill revealed 2,500 text messages for one employee? tk



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  • That was an interesting article with a very thoughtful approach to this issue. I like how the employer looked at the issue in light of the employee's and their overall productivity.

    I think the amount of time spent on texting can be a serious problem for employers and they will need to evaluate whether the activity is a positive or negative thing for them. I think a type A personality real estate broker who is contstantly texting clients in an effort to facilitate a sale is completely different from a warehouse worker texting his girlfriend all day.
  • We ran into this problem with our truck drivers. Our cell phone policy prohibits use of the phone while driving; this includes texting. We found a simple way to solve the problem. We had the phone company disable texting and downloads for all phones except those assigned to management.
  • My son-in-law is a truck driver. My daughter texts him about questions or problems and often on something cute one of the kids did. She also sends him pictures of the kids when they are doing something funny. He keeps in touch without having to stop to answer the phone. He can read and reply when it is convenient, which is much better than taking a call and talking a few minutes or even longer when it could have been only seconds. Also, when the phone actually rings he knows it is really important.

    Of course, he often drives 2 man runs so he is able to receive and send much more easily than someone out on a long haul by themselves.

    Having said that, I really hate to see someone driving and texting or talking on the phone when they are driving. Sitting at a light is ok, driving on the interstate is not. That kind of behaviour puts us all at risk.
  • The Tennessee legislature recently passed a law which addressed texting while driving. It is illegal here.
  • The employer's approach to focusing on whether or not the work is getting done has appeal. At the same time, it potentially leads to unequal treatment. What if the next employee with an excessive number of texts is a ______ (fill in a protected class status of your choice) who happens to be a poor performer. Trying to hold that employee accountable may lead to charges of discrimination.

    The other thing that I found interesting is how the employer talks about employees working after hours and on weekends. I am assuming that the employees are FLSA-exempt. I wonder how the employer would feel if a non-exempt employee had the same number of excessive texts. Or, if a non-exempt employee who had excessive texts filed a wage and hour complaint to be paid for that after hours work. The employer might not be as accommodating.
  • That is not the only lawsuit liability. If an employee gets in an accident while texting it won't matter what kind of performer they are. In fact, an employee working more hours might be cause for a higher payout.
  • There are all kinds of issues here. The New York Times published an article which claims american teenagers are sending on average 2,200 texts each month or roughly 80 per day. Health experts are becoming concerned about the impact of all this texting (duh).

    As for the workplace, my guess is that major companies will begin issuing responses to workplace texting and that will filter down.

    Some industries are already feeling the effects. There are reportedly summer camps that are finding kids unwilling to attend camp because they are not allowed to bring their cell phones. That looks and sounds alot like addiction to me.

    Unlike posts on Facebook or Myspace, there appears to be real privacy to text messages. Unless you can physically see the phone, you have no idea what coworkers may be texting. That in itself should create a slew of issues from sexual harassment to bullying.
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