Most employers have rules governing the use of company telephones by employees, although the widespread possession of personal cell phones has made many of them obsolete. In some workplace settings, personal calls might be a minimal disruption, but in other circumstances where employees must leave their machines or other posts to use any phone, personal calls may be limited to meal or other breaks. Whatever rules are established, it is crucial that they be clear, reasonable, well communicated to all employees, and enforced consistently.
Family responsibilities. Working parents may need to know that their school-age children have arrived home safely at the end of the school day; caregivers may need to check on an elderly or ill relative. Because worry exacts such a heavy toll on productivity, most employers permit workers to make and receive such calls.
Personal emergencies. For similar reasons, rules restricting the use of company phones for personal business must make allowance for calls of an emergency or otherwise critical nature, although the availability of personal cell phones has minimized this issue.