At General Motors, employees are not allowed to walk around on their phones. That’s pretty standard behavior for warehouses and manufacturing facilities, but this rule extends to the office. That means no looking at a phone on the way to a meeting. No taking calls while en route to the bathroom. No checking email while you’re going to the kitchen to get a coffee.
“We have asked people not to text and walk or walk and talk on phones because it takes your attention away from potential hazards,” says Jim Glynn, GM’s vice president of Global Workplace Safety.
The new rule, which took effect in January, came out of a letter General Motors CEO Mary Barra published in June 2017. It outlined a series of key agendas necessary to the company’s longer-term stability, including a commitment to “safety in everything we do.”