Employee Handbook with Personal Technology Rules could Reduce Employers’ Costs

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According to a 2005 research study conducted by Hewlett-Packard and the Institute of Psychiatry at the University of London, employees’ use of cell phones and other technology for personal conversations, texting and other social media could reduce their IQs by 10 points — which is twice as much as the effect of marijuana.

When employees are distracted from their work to answer calls or to “tweet” a friend, they are not only reducing productivity, but also putting themselves in danger. The loss of focus on the task at hand to use a cell phone can cause a truck driver to swerve into the next lane of traffic or a machine operator to injure him or others.

Various experts in support of the study’s findings say that the simplest and most effective solution to the personal use of cell phones and other technology devices during work hours is to be sure a company’s employee handbook states a clear policy that is fairly, but firmly, applied.

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