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Q: Employees are spending a lot of time on their phones (scrolling social media, browsing the internet, listening to music or podcasts). Can we prohibit personal phone use during work hours?

A: Yes, you can limit or prohibit the use of personal devices during work hours. Employees can be expected to give their undivided attention to the work you pay them to perform, and if that means phones need to be silenced or put away, you are entitled to make this request. An all-out ban on phone use may not be necessary, however. Periodic mental health breaks can actually improve overall productivity. And if an employee is able to work efficiently and not distract their colleagues while listening to music or a podcast, there’s probably no reason to prohibit them from doing so.

However you decide to approach cell phone use during work hours, employees should be allowed to use them during their break and meal periods. This time needs to be truly their own in order to satisfy the requirements of many state laws.

Be sure to outline your expectations in a handbook policy and distribute it to all employees.

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Clergy Financial Resources serves as a resource for clients to help analyze the complexity of clergy tax law, church payroll & HR issues. Our professionals are committed to helping clients stay informed about tax news, developments and trends in various specialty areas.

This article is intended to provide readers with guidance in tax matters. The article does not constitute, and should not be treated as professional advice regarding the use of any particular tax technique. Every effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information. Clergy Financial Resources and the author do not assume responsibility for any individual’s reliance upon the information provided in the article. Readers should independently verify all information before applying it to a particular fact situation, and should independently determine the impact of any particular tax planning technique. If you are seeking legal advice, you are encouraged to consult an attorney.

For more information or if you need additional assistance, please use the contact information below.

Clergy Financial Resources
11214 86th Avenue N.
Maple Grove, MN 55369

Tel: (763) 425-8778 
Fax: (888) 876-5101
Email: clientservices@clergyfinancial.com

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