A reader writes: “Do you have actual data to support your position on cell phone use? I like to operate from facts, not opinion.”

Great question and the short answer is no. My comments are simply my opinion based on observation and discussions with supervisors who oftentimes are frustrated with workers who are so focused on their cell phones that they do not seem to be getting much done when they should be focused on performing their tasks.

As I have mentioned in past articles, I work with the homeless (and those on the margins) people in my area. These are individuals who are failing at one or more of what I refer to as the “Five Challenges” that we all deal with day to day. They are Managing 1) time, 2) money, 3) relationships, 4) information and 5) things. I try to provide them with opportunities to earn a few dollars by doing basic yard work, washing windows, etc. at my home and with neighbors who need some help with their home.

I recently had a young man who could not quit texting and talking on his cell phone when he was supposed to be pulling weeds. I had given him the rule that he could only use his phone when he was taking a legitimate break. He ignored this directive and I observed him standing while totally focused on the conversation(s) he was having. I noted that he actually had multiple calls and texts coming in at the same time. Since he obviously did not “get it” that unless there as an actual emergency, he should not be using his phone. I took him back to where I had picked him up and put him on my “Do Not Use” list in my database.

I wish that this was an isolated incident but it isn’t. I would rate his productivity at less than 50 percent for the day, which is being generous. I will pull the weeds myself with my phone turned off.

As to your question, I am going to check out insurance carriers and universities that study productivity to see if they have any hard data on this subject. If I find any studies, I will be glad to share.

Your comments and feedback are always appreciated. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.