During the workday, warehouse employees are subject to a wide array of distractions. Some are unavoidable, as a degree of the hustle and bustle around them is simply a natural part of the workplace. However, others are potentially controllable.
Allowing cellphones and vapes on the warehouse floor often leads to many distractions. Since a lack of focus can negatively impact safety and harm productivity, banning the use of cellphones and vapes (outside of when employees are on break) is a wise move. Here’s a look at why you should get rid of cellphones and vapes in a warehouse.
First and foremost, allowing cellphone and vape use on a warehouse floor creates safety issues. When employees look at their phone, they’re less aware of their surroundings. As a result, they’re potentially more likely to end up in a hazardous situation, such as walking across a properly marked spill, crossing in front of forklifts, or not operating equipment correctly.
With vapes, employees end up working with just one hand for a period. Depending on the work, this can make them ill-equipped to handle their tasks safely. Plus, the clouds created by vapes can limit visibility, which is also hazardous.
In that regard, cellphones and vapes don’t just put the employees using them at risk; they also endanger others. A lack of awareness on one worker’s part can cause others to end up in harm’s way. As a result, banning the devices improves warehouse safety.
Vape and cellphone use on the floor can lower productivity. When employees can check their phones at any time, it may incidentally encourage them to set down their work and spend some time reviewing messages or generally scrolling. Similarly, allowing vapes means workers may choose to use theirs for a few moments multiple times a day, taking them away from the task at hand.
In either case, productivity typically dips since employees using the devices aren’t focused on work activities during their entire shift (aside from breaks and lunches). The precise impact on productivity can vary, but it’s typically significant.
At times, cellphone or vape use by one employee can distract others. For example, phone calls occurring on the warehouse floor may make it harder for others to focus on their work. Vape clouds may hinder visibility or may cause physical irritation in some employees.
There’s also the risk that workers who don’t use phones or vapes on the floor will resent those that do. They may see those employees as hindrances to productivity that slow everyone down. Others may simply see the activities as an annoyance. However, as the frustration builds, it can lead to conflicts, some of which may harm your culture.
Overall, vapes and cellphones in the warehouse usually cause more problems than they fix. Since that’s the case, re-evaluating your warehouse policies and banning their use on the floor is typically a wise decision.
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