I’m pretty sure that this has happened to you: you are attempting to buy something at the corner store. Annnnd…the cashier is more entranced by the cellphone than the live and paying customer who is standing right here. I mean, it’s great that you made it to level 400 of Candy Crush, but could you take my money, please?

At Bourke Accounting, we’re allowed to have our cellphones. During my original interview, Bill told me that, as we’re all adults, responding to a text every once in a while isn’t a big deal. But, he emphasized, if the phone usage became excessive, there was going to be a problem and we’d have to revisit the subject. That sounded fair to me. From 8-5 (8-7 during tax season!), I realize that my priority is my job and I don’t need to see funny puppy videos right now. Admittedly, I am not as pure as the driven snow over here, but so far, no one has had to smack my nose.

At this point, most workers have cellphones. I don’t have to tell you how convenient this invention is, but, as with everything, there’s a downside. For example, “19% of employers think their workers are productive for less than five hours a day and more than half believe that cellphones are to blame” (SBA.thehartford.com). In addition, according to The New York Post, a study claims that, because of electronic devices, there is “$15 billion in lost productivity” annually.

Of course, that one guy playing Minecraft in his cubicle is bad enough; what I truly hate, though, is someone else’s loud conversation that I can’t escape (this doesn’t happen at Bourke). I’m trying to work and someone else is engaged in a very personal dialogue with their doctor. No, no, I don’t want to know what the rash looks like, I don’t want to know where on your body it’s located and I sure as anything don’t want to know what colors are coming out of it. Am I the only one who wants to bring back phonebooths?

There seems to be two schools of thought regarding what to do about the cellphone issue. Cathy Hotka (of Cathy Hotka and Associates) says that, if your employees aren’t being productive, “your response isn’t to complain – just fire them” (Forbes.com). Maybe it’s my bleeding heart again, but this seems a bit harsh. However, if a worker is reprimanded more than once and the behavior remains unchanged, there might not be any other option.

The other school of thought leans toward the restriction, not banning, of cellphones. While there is no law actively stating that an employer “cannot implement a policy prohibiting cellphones” (Paycore.com), Paycor.com warns that completely banning phones “would likely decrease employee morale.” They suggest that phones be kept in lockers or drawers except during breaks. Also, they suggest setting up another phone line in the reception area that is strictly for employee emergencies in order to circumvent arguments from concerned employees with children.

Our Bourke Accounting professionals know how to stay focused. You will not be interrupted, mid-appointment, by Bill or Tim stepping out to take a friend request. When you see a Bourke Accounting expert, you will have their 100% dedication and attention. Eh, you might want to turn your phone off, though. You can always watch cute kitties doing cute things after you’ve received the best in accounting and bookkeeping services, right?

Come see us any time. Our number is 502-451-8773 and don’t forget to visit our website at www.bourkeaccounting.com. See you soon!

Written by Sue H.