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I am interested to know how other principals handle the use of cellular phones in the office within their staff members. We are a small practice of 7 and have been too flexible as to allow the use of personal cell phones. I feel it is time for a change as distraction and errors are too abundant. I would be interested to know how other firms manage restrictions if any. A colleague of mine does not allow phones and makes every staff member keep their phones in a cubby he built in the break room where they can use them during lunch breaks. As soon as he started with the new rule, two staff member left the firm. Thoughts?
Thank you for your comments
Jorge S. Kuperman, AIA
JSK Architectural Group
Coral Gables, FL
Your colleague's policy of making every staff member keep their phone in a cubby he built in the break room sounds quite harsh and might speak volumes about his relationship with his staff. Not surprised that 2 staff members left the firm proximate to this.
While cell phones can be distracting, having a cell phone close by is a way of life for many people. I suggest convening a staff meeting (with cell phones off) to discuss your concerns directly. Tell them that you are concerned about distractions and potential errors and, while you recognize that they might have legitimate needs to correspond with family members during the day, you would greatly appreciate everyone limiting cell phone use during business hours to only essential phone calls. Explaining your perspective and seeking their input will be far more constructive than implementing a formal policy and building a special cubby hole to enforce it.
Michael Strogoff, FAIA
Strogoff Consulting, Inc.
ownership transitions . mergers & acquisitions . practice management . leadership development . talent placement
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Perhaps we (myself included) have been a bit harsh on Jorge for posing the question. The real issue, if a secure cubby hole is warranted, is should staff design this during business hours or on their own time?
When I started here, I was told regarding work hours and cell phones, that we were adults and did not need a monitor for our behavior. I come in earlysome days and leave early or come in late and leave late, so long as I'm here from 9 to 4. My cell phone is muted on my desk where I can see it and respond if I need to. I don't like topublish my personal life, so leave the office during lunch if I have personal business.