Should employees be allowed to use phones at work? Its been a widespread debate for some time, but it has recently gained even more popularity thanks to a viral TikTok about convenience store company Buc-ee’s phone policy…
Buc-ee’s Device Policy
The @alabamablackchic had no idea her TikTok, posted last Tuesday, would renew the debate over mobile phones at work. She just posted about her experience working as a cashier at Buc-ee’s, a chain of gas stations and convenience stores throughout the United States. According to the TikTok user, Buc-ee’s’ employees are not allowed to use phones while at work – even on their break!
@alabamablackchic’s video came as a response to another TikTok video, from user @izzysanders02, showcasing Buc-ee’s $15 hourly pay, as well as their healthcare, 401K, and three weeks paid time off. “Everything good comes with a price,” @alabamablackchic said of the great benefits. “I love my job, Buc-ee’s is by far the best job I’ve worked at.”
However, she didn’t enjoy the fact that she could not use her phone while on her break. “Phones, also, not allowed on the parameter,” she said in a TikTok. “They will fire you if they see you on your phone. Even on your breaks.” Since going live, the clip has received nearly 200,000 views! As a result, she kicked off a massive debate over whether or not phones should be allowed at work…
How To Deal With Phones At Work
In the caption of her video, @alabamablackchic claimed that everything she said about Buc-ee’s could be found on the company’s website. However, as of this writing, no one has been able to find any specific information on the convenience store’s website. But that didn’t stop other employees from posting their own responses to the video, confirming @alabamablackchic’s claims. It also spurred many others to comment on the company’s phone policy.
“No phone?” replied TikTok user @jensparklez. “They do realize people have kids right?” Another, @michaelrich088, wrote: “No phone on breaks? That’s extreme.” However, many others disagreed. “Everyone like omg no phone,” replied user @sarcastic_cow00. “Y’all realize there is a whole generation that survived without cell phones.”
And they do have a point, according to a study done by the Hartford, 55% of workplace distractions are caused by cellphones, 75% of American employees say they lose up to two hours of work a day due to using their phones, and there is a 28% increase in mistakes if an employee returns to work right after receiving a text message or phone call.
So, no brainer, right? No phones at work! Well, not so fast. According to the National Law Review, “while an employer may be able to limit employee use of personal mobile devices during working time in order to minimize distractions, having a policy in place that is worded in a way that limits that activity during non-working time may run afoul of the NLRA.”
For the time, at least, it seems that banning phones outright might not be an option.