For a very long time, Amazon banned the use of phones in their warehouses. Employees couldn’t even bring their phones into their workplace. However, things have since changed, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic — and below, we explain exactly what happened.
Amazon has lifted the ban on cell phones, and now warehouse employees can bring their phones into their workplace. However, employees still cannot use their phones when working and could be written up if they are seen on it on the floor of the warehouse.
Keep reading to learn even more about why the cellphone ban was lifted!
For many years, Amazon had a longstanding ban on cell phones in their warehouses and fulfillment centers. They banned employees from even having phones in their pockets when at work.
However, things have since changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. When the pandemic first started, Amazon allowed employees to carry their cellphones on them while they worked because of the unprecedented times.
Many employees felt more relaxed with their phones on them. In this way, they could stay up to date with family members, as well as what was happening in the world, during the beginning phases of the pandemic when so many were confused about what was going on.
When people became more adjusted to living while the pandemic continued, Amazon decided to bring its cellphone policy back. However, employee outcry stopped this from happening.
Amazon listened to their employees — and now all warehouse employees can carry cellphones on them during their shifts.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, phones were not allowed in Amazon fulfillment centers. As there is machinery that employees use when working, Amazon didn’t want cell phones to potentially cause accidents or damage.
After all, if an employee is working machinery and on their phone at the same time, then this could potentially cause a terrible accident.
Many also say that Amazon did not want employees to have access to a camera. As smartphones now all come equipped with cameras, employees could easily take pictures — and confidential information or private business practices could quickly be revealed.
Therefore, Amazon thought it best — for years — to enact a ban on cell phones. This meant that employees could not enter the main area of the warehouse with their cell phones on them. Instead, they had to either leave their phone in their car or in the breakroom.
Arguments for Why Phones Should Be Allowed in Amazon Warehouse
When Amazon first stated that they were going to reenact the ban on cell phones, many employees were furious. They didn’t believe that a cell phone ban would make anyone happy.
Employees wanted to have their cell phones with them while they worked for various reasons, including:
- To be notified if any emergencies happen with their family
- To be updated on extreme weather conditions in the area
- To be updated about any breaking news in their area
Amazon decided to lift its ban on mobile phones in its warehouses when the COVID-19 pandemic first began. Employees wanted to be updated about what was happening in the world when they were at work, especially in the beginning phases of the pandemic when so much was unknown.
So, Amazon temporarily lifted its ban on cell phones. When employee backlash persisted after Amazon talked about reenacting the cellphone ban, the company finally decided to permanently allow warehouse employees to carry their cell phones when working.
Amazon now allows all employees to carry their cell phones, regardless of what division they are in or what position they have. Amazon also allows employees worldwide to do this — so it doesn’t depend on where you are located at all!
Many warehouses do have wifi — but whether you can connect to it is another issue entirely. It appears that only certain warehouses and certain employees can access the company’s wifi throughout the entire building.
Amazon did begin to offer wifi in warehouses to more employees during the pandemic, though employees have to use their employee identification numbers to access this. This feature wasn’t available at every single Amazon warehouse in the beginning and still seems to be a work in progress.
Cell phones are now allowed in Amazon warehouses after being banned for many years. As long as employees do not actively use their phones while they are working, employees can carry their phones with them throughout the day and throughout their entire shift with absolutely no problem.