Ottawa business bans personal cellphones for employees

Personal cellphone use at work is a growing concern for Canadian businesses, as some employees focus more on their devices than on their work.

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One Ottawa-area business owner banned SunTech Greenhouses employees from using personal cellphones during work hours as of Jan. 1, and he says the decision has increased efficiency at work.

"Productivity, it all comes down to productivity," Bob Mitchell told CTV Ottawa.

Greenhouse supervisor Amanda Chiasson said she'd often find employees hiding between the rows of vegetable plants and using their cell phones.

The issue is a growing concern, according to a survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business that found the top challenge to workplace productivity was excessive use of a personal phone, with 61 per cent of business owners complaining about the distracting devices. Excessive chatting or gossiping followed cellphone use in the survey.

"They told us it was disruptive to their day-to-day running of their business, that it was a drag on time and productivity, and on customer service in particular," Monique Moreau of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business said.

But some business owners have found that enforcing a no cell phone policy could be difficult.

Ottawa Bagelshop and Deli owner Liliana Piazza said, after implementing a no cell phone policy, she found she was spending too much time policing her employees.

"To enforce it is a very constant thing," she said.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Joanne Schnurr


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