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QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Implementing A “No Personal Electronic Device” Workplace

Written by Heidi Schwartz. Posted in FacilityBlog, Featured Post, Question Of The Week, Security, Technology, Topics


Published on January 14, 2013 with 1 Comment

I work for an organization that has recently adopted a policy that prohibits the use of personal electronic devices (smart phones, tablets, laptops, etc.) inside the facility. Increased security is at the core of the new policy, with the primary goal of preventing the recording and transmission of information.

Lockers outside the facility have been installed so employees can safely deposit their devices before entering the building, but there are inevitably problems with lost keys, devices left on (and ringing while stowed), and visitors who are reluctant to surrender their devices. Security guards are currently being tapped to manage this responsibility, which ultimately falls under both the facilities and security departments.

Does anyone have advice regarding the best strategy for this situation? We anticipate greater pushback as younger people (who are perpetually tethered to their devices) enter the workforce and will certainly consider policy evolution, but for now, we are doing our best to restrict all devices. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Name withheld


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About Heidi Schwartz

Heidi Schwartz

Schwartz joined Group C Media in April 1989 as managing editor of Today's Facility Manager (TFM) magazine (formerly Business Interiors) where she was subsequently promoted to editor/co-publisher of the monthly trade magazine for facility management professionals. In September 2012, she took over the newly created position of internet director for TFM's parent company, Group C Media, where she is charged with developing content and creating online strategies for TFM and its sister publication, Business Facilities. Schwartz can be reached at

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  1. Visitors are just that – a quest period, adhere or move along.

    First – Proper written company policy must be in place. Second – HR needs to ensure each employee understands “their” responsibility.

    The beginning of any change is difficult, especially when your now “herding” your work force from one area to another. Clear signage reminding employees of what is or is not in their possession may also prove helpful.

    Youth – they object to anything that resembles “order” or “rules”. The hardest challenge will be the companies challenge to maintain and enforce the policy. Everyday a new twist to the scenero will appear – one that will generate discuss and perhaps adoption changes. It will be a work in process for the first 90 days.

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