OMG! What Are Your Employees Texting?

If you haven’t typed THX, LOL, or GTG on your phone keypad within the last 24 hours, chances are you eventually will. Every year, texting is becoming more and more popular. According to Nielsen Wire, a media research corporation, over 2.5 billion texts are sent each day in the US, and the primary use of cell phones is now to send texts, not make phone calls. In particular, the texting use of the generation that will be entering the workforce in a few years is exploding. The average American teen sends over 3,300 texts every month.

With that kind of popularity, the workplace couldn’t expect to remain unaffected for long, as a survey from textPlus, a free texting app, recently showed. According to the survey, 11% of college students and recent grads think it’s fine to ask for a raise through a text, 32% say it’s appropriate to “call in sick” by text, and 11% think it’s ok to quit a job via a text. More than two out of 10 respondents have actually texted in sick, and the numbers for the following generation, ages 13 to 17, are even higher.
This research indicates that texting will continue to impact the workplace as more generations enter the business world. Just like the push to incorporate social media policies, companies will soon be building texting policies and procedures to guard against liabilities and address proper workplace texting etiquette, if they haven’t already. And, just as businesses’ attendance, dress code, and social media policies come in all shapes and sizes, so will texting policies. So, take the time to tailor your team’s texting procedures to fit your company needs.

I know of managers who have told their employees its fine to text in sick, while others expect a phone call and doctor’s note instead. So, what do you think about texting in the workplace? Have you clearly communicated with employees what your texting expectations and rules are? And what are your employees texting you?

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