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November 2016 - Facebook and iPhone has been around for more than a decade - and yes - I'm using social media, networking, everything.

Many people in the office use their personal mobile devices too.

I'm not sure if that is appropriate.

I have a proposal to my boss explaining:

  1. I'm using my phone at work for not-work
  2. I don't feel great about it, I feel I should be more work-orientated
  3. Please acknowledge / appreciate current factual reality
  4. Allow me to spend 30 minutes in the morning (7am) and 30 minutes in the evening (10pm) to handle communication / email / scheduling when working with teams across multiple timezones.

In that way:

  1. I could use my phone officially without being guilty, without stealing time / attention / mindshare from my employer
  2. I could be more productive by responding to queries outside core working hours and unblocking other people

In the office everyone is using mobile phones. In my understanding it is "silently approved" but I would like to improve the process and feel good about it.

What would be the best way to approach a conversation with my manager?

Ideally I would like to not shot in my foot, but be honest, with integrity, having the interest of all parties in mind.


EDIT / UPDATE: I wonder what would be the response if rather than saying "social media" I was mentioning:

  • Trello
  • Slack
  • Github
  • co-ordinating freelancers

closed as primarily opinion-based by Xavier J, gnat, Chris G, IDrinkandIKnowThings, JasonJ Nov 10 '16 at 21:33

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Who pays for your phone? If it's you, then my approach to the manager would be to request a work phone. Then you can switch it off when you're not at work. – PeteCon Nov 10 '16 at 0:01
  • I'm so sorry. On many occasions I think I write clearly, and then I discover I'm misunderstood. I use my personal mobile device at work for not-work. I'd like to have get a green light and instead do some work in the morning and evening while presenting benefit to the company. – Mars Robertson Nov 10 '16 at 0:29
  • @MichalStefanow Do you actually want to do work outside of work hours (e.g. for convenience of coordinating with different time zones), or are you only suggesting that as a way to make amends for doing non-work stuff on your mobile during work hours? – Brandin Nov 10 '16 at 0:55
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    Unless you're spending a large part of your working day doing personal stuff (and if you are, you have a problem :-)), it shouldn't be a problem. After all, before there were cell phones, people would take personal calls on their office phones. You just didn't spend hours chatting to spouse, kids, or dial-a-porn. – jamesqf Nov 10 '16 at 5:12
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    If you feel you do it too much, why not just do it less instead of making it into a big thing? – Erik Nov 10 '16 at 11:13
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This is a terrible idea, you want to bring the whole staff under scrutiny and put them in the firing line over what is in essence your personal issue.

Best to just keep your head down and if you feel guilty, then don't do it. Don't get other people involved.

It may not be written down anywhere, but it's generally recognised that grown adults handle this themselves, until such time as they prove themselves incapable of doing so and measures have to be taken against it.

If an employee came to me and said 'Boss, all this time I've been here I've been slacking off constantly on social media and I feel a bit guilty, but not enough to stop. You, my colleagues, the company and the clients, have to accommodate my needs by XXX and YYY.', I'd just replace him/her with a worker.

  • slacking off constantly on social media - I'd much rather use a phrase - arranging matters of the great URGENCY and IMPORTANCE (I guess it's time to move on) – Mars Robertson Feb 8 '17 at 15:58
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It depends to some extent on the kind of workplace. I worked in a company for many years that required pretty much 24/7 access to employees (not much work/life balance), but we were also well compensated, and it was understood that sometimes you would be doing personal business on company time because the lines between personal and company time were completely blurred or non-existent. I agree with a previous answer about broaching the subject with your boss. What is the policy or his/her feeling about handling personal items while at work? Nothing like an open conversation rather than wondering what you should be doing.

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