Mobile phones let your employees communicate with contacts efficiently, which helps them to be as productive as possible. Mobiles are also convenient for reaching staff when they work away from the office. Despite these clear advantages, the use of mobile phones in business isn't without its drawbacks. Business owners need to weigh up the pros and cons before handing out company phones to employees.
Mobile phones improve communication efficiency and allow the user to make or receive calls on the go, which increases potential productivity. For example, your employee can make and receive calls while on a train journey or in between meetings if out of the office. Response times for returning calls to customers can improve, preventing the need to wait until the employee is back at a fixed land line phone.
Unless managed well, using a mobile phone for business can set the expectation that you are constantly available. Biz Help 24 states that a distinct disadvantage is that people may try to contact you outside of business hours leaving you with too many unwanted calls. The company suggests only giving your mobile number to important customers or key employees and using redirection and answering services to manage times when you are unavailable.
In the event of an emergency, you can use a mobile phone to contact the company day or night. Many phones now have have GPS satellite navigation systems, which you can use to find business premises or change a route if stuck in traffic. Smartphones with internet connections are useful for research while you're out and about.
Employees might be tempted to use business mobile phones for personal use or non-work related tasks. Social media, games, text messaging and personal calls are all distractions that can reduce productivity in business and increase contract usage costs for the employer. According to research by UK telecoms regulator Ofcom, 30 percent of smartphone users and 23 percent of regular mobile phone users say they regularly take part in personal calls at work, so a business mobile may increase the distraction levels.
Organisations need to adapt to a new generation of mobile, multi-tasking, office workers by providing the right tools and support they need to achieve the work-life balance they want. Using mobile phones for business contributes to employee engagement including increased productivity, improved innovation, collaboration with colleagues and higher employee motivation.
Businesses may choose to commit to a fixed term mobile phone for their employees. The advantages of this from financial perspective are that most services will be included in the monthly cost. If an employee leaves your company, you should reassign the contract to another worker to avoid paying for the mobile while it is not being used.