How Employers Can Curb Digital Distractions

May 19, 2014

Cell Phones, Software

Smartphones are an effective tool. They can streamline work, personal lives, and relationships. However, when work needs to be done, a smartphone can also be a distraction. Some companies offer cell phones to their employees to help them keep their work lives organized, but boundaries need to be set. Employers have a hard time creating that boundary. What is acceptable? What is expected? And then there are more subtle ways to curb an employee’s excessive or inappropriate use of their company smartphones.

Why are smartphones such a distraction?

New technology always takes time to integrate itself into society and culture. It’s a time for excess and adjustment. When companies offer phones to their employees, it’s to boost productivity, not hinder it. Ideally, employees use their work phone for work only, even after business hours. However, distractions come with the territory. Unnecessary apps such as games can company cell phonesbe a huge problem. It’s easy for employees to lose concentration on work when they are interested in beating their high score. Another danger to productivity: the Internet. There is just too much information to lure users in and keep them there for hours. These are things for companies to consider before offering phones to their employees.

What can be done about it?

One thing is certain; employers can control what’s going on in the workplace far more easily than what is done in the home. So the first step is to implement strict cell phones rules at the office. Employers can consult their human resources department to get tips on how to enforce it company-wide and create a culture of expectations. These types of guidelines can be difficult to enforce as some employees hide what they’re doing.

Monitoring Software Programs

Fortunately, there is software available to curb these distractions. They are similar to what parents use to monitor their children’s phones – you can read about spy software here. Employers are able to track websites visited, calls, text messages, and apps downloaded. This software can even block inappropriate websites from being visited. Here is a list of popular smartphone monitoring software:

  • PhoneSheriff
  • mSpy
  • Mobile Spy
  • MobiStealth
  • StealthGenie

This software is fairly impressive and most of the brands come with great customer support. For larger companies, these software brands can be contacted in order to get a more tailored customer service experience. They are often willing to work closely with IT departments to install the programs, implement updates, and offer ongoing customer support.

Monitoring should be the last line of defense against lack of productivity or inappropriate behavior. It’s important to set fast and hard rules against smartphone overuse. Once a culture of responsibility is created around proper use of company smartphones, there will only be isolated issues. Then, employers can target problems on a case by case basis instead of spending time on mass surveillance.

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