'Using a mobile phone at work could soon be banned by employers as firms try to boost productivity, unions have warned.
A crackdown on social media and texting during work hours could soon be enforced by bosses sick of workers constantly using their devices.
It is thought the move is a bid to stop employees wasting time checking social media as some managers do not trust their staff to exercise self-control.
Unions have warned the new policy is a 'new front for friction' between workers and organisations.
Retailers such as Tesco and some call centres already make their employee put phones in their lockers, but the practice is now spreading to offices.
The ploy by such organisations is to avoid the use of mobile phones while serving customers.
Nannies are also increasingly being given smartphone clauses in their contracts that ban 'unauthorised use during working hours'.
Cafe staff at the British Library also have to reportedly surrender their phones to their supervisor.
Prospect, the union for clerical workers that represents some staff at the British Library, has voiced concerns about the shift in attitudes.
Anita Prazmowska, professor of international history at the London School of Economics, wrote a letter to the Guardian complaining about the practice after witnessing a supervisor collecting employees' phones.
Mike Clancy, its general secretary, of Prospect, said technology could actually improve customer service, not hinder it.
He told the Times: 'Rigid controls over phone use, where no clear security and safety issues are involved, risks being rigid worker control, reflecting a culture that lacks trust.'
Read more: Now bosses take smartphones from office employees in bid to boost productivity and avoid them wasting time checking social media during working hours
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