Can I use my phone at work?

You’re gearing up to head to your first day at your new job, and so many questions race through your mind. What if I’m late? Will I know what to say to the customers? Will I be allowed to use the bathroom whenever I want? Can I use my phone at work? 

When entering the workforce for the first time, you might have questions about phone use at work. While you may be used to checking your phone throughout the day for communication or entertainment, it’s important to remember that a work environment requires a different level of professionalism compared to relaxing at home. In this article, we’ll discuss phone culture at work and provide some tips on how to be less distracted and put your phone away.

So is it okay to use your phone at work? While some workplaces may have strict rules about phone usage, others may be more relaxed. Regardless of the rules, it’s important to be mindful of your phone usage at work. Here are some tips to stay focused and less distracted by your phone throughout the day.

Set boundaries for yourself

The first step in being less distracted by your phone at work is to set boundaries for yourself. This means deciding when and where you will use your phone. Whether or not your employer has a hard-and-fast rule on phone usage, you can be proactive and set a goal to put your phone away during work hours and only pull it out during breaks. By setting boundaries, you can help reduce the temptation to constantly check your phone and be more productive at work.

Safely store your phone out of sight

Another way to reduce distractions is to physically put your phone away. When you see your phone, or feel the comforting rectangular shape in your pocket, you may instinctively pull it out. To prevent this temptation, you may want to keep your phone in your bag or locker during work hours. In many cases out of sight means out of mind, so completely separating yourself from the distraction can help you stay on task and impress your employer!

Turn off notifications

Notifications can be a major distraction, especially if they’re coming in constantly throughout the day. “You have a new Snapchat” or “Check out this person on TikTok” have been known to draw people in and eat away at work productivity. Consider turning off notifications for non-work related apps or setting your phone to “do not disturb” mode during work hours.

How to stay focused at work and keep off your phone

Bonus Tip: What if I use my phone FOR work?

In some job roles, using your phone is not only allowed, it’s essential. For example, social media managers frequently have to engage with people via Instagram or even film content straight from their device. Other job roles require constant communication with team members on the go. A sales position could mean attending events or calling/texting contacts on a regular basis, so the phone has to be kept at the ready.

For these people, it can be especially hard to avoid the distracting nature of their phones when their job requires their use so often. In these cases, it’s important to limit phone usage to only work-related applications. In the notification settings, turn off notifications from the apps that won’t assist with your work or even move those apps to places that won’t constantly tempt you. You might even want to make a habit of immediately putting your phone away after sending an email or hanging up, giving yourself no option to waste time. When people see you using your phone constructively, that sends the message that you are responsible and disciplined enough to stay on the task at hand.

Be present

As we just mentioned, it’s important to be present and focused on your job while you’re there. This means avoiding the temptation to check your phone constantly or engage in non-work related activities. Instead, focus on your tasks and be mindful of your surroundings. Look for ways that you can find fulfillment in improving your workplace or increasing customer satisfaction. This demonstrates professionalism and respect when you are focused on the needs of customers rather than what’s on your handheld screen.

Imagine if a customer walked in and noticed you were distracted by your phone. Giggling at a TikTok video behind the counter instead of asking how you can assist them probably won’t leave the best impression. Being present and attentive will go a long way!

Be respectful of your coworkers

Finally, it’s important to be respectful of your coworkers when it comes to phone usage. Avoid using your phone in situations where it might be disruptive, such as during meetings, while talking to a coworker, or even during downtime. If they are still hard at work, it is not polite for you to pull out your phone. If you need to take a call, find a private space where you can talk without disturbing others. Being respectful of your coworkers encourages a positive work environment for you both.

In conclusion, phone culture at work can vary depending on the workplace, but it’s always important to be mindful of your phone usage. By following these six steps you can reduce distractions and be a more productive employee. Remember, your phone can be a valuable tool, but it’s important to use it in a way that is professional and respectful of those around you.

When you pay more attention to improving your relationships with customers, coworkers, and your boss instead of your phone, the results might surprise you. Who knows, maybe you’ll even get a raise after some time. 

Did you know you can use your phone to find your next job? Start your search for an entry-level job near you on the Jipe app.

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