Home Polls Are Cell Phones Productivity Boosts or Busts?

Are Cell Phones Productivity Boosts or Busts?

Close up of a young woman working from home
Marko Geber, Getty Images

Are cell phones more of a tool or a distraction in the workplace? Women In Optometry asked this question in a recent Pop-up Poll. Respondents were almost evenly split; 46% said cell phone usage is somewhat of an issue and that they are seeing more staff members distracted by their phones. On the other hand, 43% said that excessive cell phone usage has not been a significant issue, and that employees use their phones appropriately. The remining 11% say it’s an issue because staff members are “routinely” disrupted by calls or other phone diversions.


As cell phones and other digital devices are a part of daily life, some ODs have started to put written policies in place at their practices. Almost one-third (28%) said they have a policy that states how long and where personal cell phone use is permitted while staff members are on the clock. Another 10% said they don’t yet have a policy in place, but that one is needed.

One respondent said, “We had a no cell phone policy, but a new doctor likes to use her phone a lot. The staff is following the lead. We really need a policy as cell phone use is getting out of hand with some employees.”

Almost one-fifth of respondents (19%) say their policy asks employees to leave phones in their desks or lockers during work hours.

Eighteen percent have been okay without a written policy and say common sense and professional courtesy have been enough so far.


Among those who do have a policy, 43% of respondents said enforcement consists of reminding staff of the cell phone policy during staff meetings.

Equal numbers of respondents–27%– said that, a) they need to start thinking about better ways to enforce the office cell phone policy, as it is currently often ignored, or b) they have not had to regularly remind staff to put their phone away during work hours.


  • About 47% said that they are content to leave their phone in the desk drawer, in their office or turned off while they’re on the clock.
  • Nearly 46% said they keep it with them professional networking groups, drug information, fitting or billing apps and more.
  • About 28% keep it around for urgent calls, texts, calls from patients and practice social media.
  • Fifteen percent said they’re tethered to their phone while at work.

*Respondents could choose more than one response.


49 percent of respondents were female ODs and 31 percent were non-OD females. 15 percent were male ODs and five percent were non-OD males.


To read more polls and responses from WO, click here.

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