Incoming personal texts at work

I was retired before I had a smart phone. What’s current practice in the general business world, e.g. retail workers. Assume that incoming work-related texts would be non-existent on your personal phone.

Is it fine to receive incoming texts, but you should check for texts only as time permits? Or are you supposed to discourage friends from texting during working hours? Or something else? Or even 42 other things?

i believe restaurant workers can’t have their smart phone on them during work, so many use smart watches instead

It’s been my experience that you can’t discourage friends from texting during work hours (that is, they’re not discouraged even if you ask them not to).

I’m confused by the question. To me general business world and retail have very different norms in this regard.


I would think there is a fairly wide range of behavior but retail/restaurants probably range from no phones on you expect on break to don’t check unless the place is slow.

I have one kid who has worked fast food and is currently at Starbucks and their experience was no phones. In part because down time is supposed to be spent cleaning but I also think most places she has worked have been fairly busy consistently.

The other kid works at at combo book shop/coffee shop on campus and my impression is the foot traffic is slower so she seems like she has more latitude.

  1. Why would one need to “discourage” texting when you don’t have your phone? Is the expectation to “respond immediately”? If so, that’s the problem to address.

  2. If there is a family issue that is time sensitive, consideration should be given to allow a person to at least check on a regular basis for those time-sensitive messages. But I agree with NerdAlert that “retail” and “corporate world” are two very different situations in regards to this.

This is one reason why I got an Apple Watch. I get a lot of texts and calls that I can’t ignore. I have to be reachable by the state and my agency, but I don’t want to be picking up my phone every time I get a text.

I wouldn’t do well in a retail type environment. Or any job where I’m expected to treat my employment like it’s more important than anything going on in my life.

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i think for emergencies they would just call the store

Numbered, cuz actuary.

  1. Yes… “As time permits” means, mainly, “not in front of the boss, not during meetings, etc.”
  2. You should discourage your friends from expecting replies during working hours. cuz, you might not be able to reply promptly. Better not be urgent.
  3. Hey, if you make a habit of not doing work that needs to be done by a certain time for any reason, one of which is replying to texts or wasting time with social media (hello, there), it’s going to be a problem. No need to micromanage phone time above, say, smoking off-campus, physically visiting friends in other departments, taking long lunches, showing up late, leaving early, etc. (all very frequently).
  4. I’ll leave it to the reader to find 37 other things. Add: yelling at kids to get off your lawn, fogey.

i suspect that client facing jobs in retail frown on personal phone use during work time.

This 100x.

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