The Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) is concerned about reports that employees’ use of cellular phones during business hours is adversely affecting productivity.
In a press release, the GMSA says it understands that employees spend long periods of time chatting, texting and playing computer games during working hours, resulting in a loss of man hours.
It notes that this practice, not only in the manufacturing and services sectors, would affect the quality of end products due especially to inattention on the production line.
Poor quality of Guyana’s manufactured products will hinder the Association’s efforts to source international expertise and financing to effectively upgrade products and production capacity to international standards, and allow them fair competition on Caribbean and international markets.
Several member companies have informed the Association that their internal human resources regulations have already addressed the issue stating that cellular phones should not be utilised during specified hours. “However, this directive is often observed in the breach and employers are concerned that the practice could present situations that affect employees’ safety as well as the integrity of equipment and machinery,” the release said.
Some companies have said that they have successfully enforced ‘No Exemption’ policies and have instituted specific compulsory measures for storage of employees’ personal items.
Nevertheless, the GMSA is considering a policy solution among other options, to address what has become a problem in the workplace.
Recent discussions have also pointed to indiscriminate use of cellular phones and hand-held radio transmission sets by members of the public in banks and hospitals despite admonitions that the signals could affect sensitive equipment.
The group will soon conduct a study to identify the sub-sectors most affected.
The GMSA also intends to involve other organisations in a concerted effort to promote implementation of effective cell phone restrictions that will lead to greater efficiency and safety in the work environment and in service institutions.
The Association is cognizant of the fact that telephones, cellular phones and other instruments of communication are work tools in marketing–type operations and at certain levels of business.
“However, the call for greater awareness of and adherence to business time restrictions by employees functioning at management and non-management levels is apropos in every factory, service facility and office,” it said.