Boeing Bans Smartphones and Headphones for Some

Tuesday, May 13, 2014, 4:18 PM


At the start of the New Year, Boeing initiated a new safety standard test at 25 plants. Typically, a company will raise their safety standards following a dangerous incident or a production mistake; however, this is not the case with Boeing.

According to some, these recent modifications were motivated more by workers’ productivity loss than by accidents. With the new changes, workers are no longer allowed to use handheld devices (smartphones) or headphones. If they do wish to use their devices, they are required to go to a specified safe zone that is designated for the use of electronic devices.

Smartphones and emails are the top distractions for employees. Gloria Mark, a professor at the University of California, Irvine, studies the effects that digital devices have on our concentration. In the workplace, employees are distracted and interrupted every three minutes. On average, it takes around 23 minutes to re-focus.

Without an Internet filter or software designed to block Facebook and other social media sites, employers are essentially paying their employees to waste time.

Productivity specialist, Mark Graban debates that it is not the actual smartphones that create lackadaisical employees but rather the working environment and quality of employers. Although Boeing’s steps may seem extreme, they are necessary for that type of environment. For other work environments such as offices, there are other solutions.

ContentWatch provides businesses opportunities to control workers’ productivity by cutting out distractions. Administrators can disable access to popular social sites as well as manage time spent on the internet. As employers it is your responsibility if you want quality working time from employees.