What is a Company Cell Phone Policy?
With the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a large shift to remote work. Now, employees are using their mobile cell phones (or company-issued mobile cell phones) to log into Zoom meetings, access their company platforms, check emails, make and answer calls, send and receive text messages, and do research. The phone has become an indispensable device for an employee’s productivity. It is an integral part of a company’s data security and bottom line. “In fact, 87% of businesses rely on their employees to use their personal mobile devices to access company apps, according to Syntonic.”
The fact that cell phones have changed the workplace can’t be overstated. Their use can be deemed both good and bad and although an employee can be distracted, they can arguably be labeled as more productive. Thus, the use of cell phones at the office are both a distraction AND a connection. According to Zippia, here are a some important statistics to consider with regard to mobile cell phones at work:
1) 51% of employees use their phones to conduct work while they’re in the bathroom;
2) 93% of U.S. employees who own a smartphone and spend at least a third of their time away from a desk use their cell phones for work every day;
3) 75% of U.S. employees use their personal cell phones for work;
4) 55% of employees would rather use their own cell phone for work than a desk phone;
5) 84% of companies have a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy;
6) 51% of employees use company-mandated apps to do work on their cell phones;
7) 48% of employees spend at least an hour each day using their cell phones for work; and
8) 82% of employees keep their cell phones within their eyesight during their workdays.
With statistics like these, basic employee phone usage guidelines can help establish boundaries and manage worker expectations while minimizing distraction and maximizing communication between employers and employees. A straightforward company cell phone policy could help.
Company mobile cell phone policy defined
“A cell phone policy is a set of guidelines regarding cell phone usage in the workplace. Your employees should be able to read your cell phone policy and understand what you expect of them when using their personal cell phone at work.”
A company cell phone policy can clearly outline the corporate goals concerning personal and business cell phone use, outlining when it is appropriate to use the cell phone during business hours and when the employee is “clocked-in”. These cell phone policies can be either company-issued cell phone policies or employee-owned cell phone policies.
Basic company mobile cell phone policy guidelines
Note: The following information should not be considered legal advice but simply helpful information to consider and by no means is the information below all-inclusive of what you should or may want to include in your company policy. Please seek legal advice if your corporation wishes to generate a formal document for your Employee Handbook or if creating a contractual agreement between the corporation and the employee.
A corporate cell phone policy should, at a minimum, include the formal name of the corporation and the applicable audience (which employees). The policy should address when not to use the cell phone when dealing with security risks, such as using it while driving or operating equipment. Set basic guidelines that are important to your company (e.g., no phone use in meetings, no personal use, no photographing confidential documents, etc.). The policy should also address when it is appropriate to use the cell phone during work hours (e.g., clocking in, setting work-related appointments/meetings, and work-related communication such as calls and text messages). Finally, the policy should cover disciplinary action if these guidelines are not followed, including the removal of cell phone privileges, or in some cases, employee termination (e.g., cell phone use which breaches company confidentiality or has yielded illegal or dangerous activity).
A downloadable company cell phone policy template can be found here.
Consider how to protect the company phone or the employee phone from loss
A phone policy can include further documentation such as what hardware the employer will provide: phone, case, glass covers, headphones, etc. Employers may be required by law to reimburse employees a reasonable amount when the company asks the employee to use their personal cell phone for business. Or, the employer may decide to provide a company mobile cell phone for work purposes. Either way, at that point, the company has made a decision to invest in the positive aspects of an employee having a cell phone at work. Thus, once this commitment is made, it makes sense that the corporation should incorporate basic business principles that will keep the employee from losing their phone.
A Corporation may need to additionally include an employee company work phone loss prevention policy
The phone policy could list prevention tips for employee company work cell phones from being lost or stolen. This can start with helping the employee remember their phone. Mobile phones are easily left behind when leaving for the office or while on the job — taking customers to lunch and left at a restaurant, left on a counter, left at a supplier's or customer’s office, etc. The quicker the employee knows the phone has been misplaced or left behind the better, to prevent any loss in productivity or company data relating to the phone. The sooner the employee can retrieve their phone the sooner they prevent it from being lost and having to be replaced; a costly venture which should be avoided at all cost.
Note: “4.3 percent of company-issued smartphones are lost or stolen every year.”
A Prox PRD® Phone Reminder Device (Phone Separation Alert) is the solution to help prevent phone loss
A new generation of phone separation alert devices has just been announced. These Phone Reminder Devices (PRDs) do not require a mobile app and they do not track (100% privacy); thus, protecting the employee's and the employer’s privacy.
The leader in this field is the Prox PRD®. The Prox PRD is unique with its Advance Alert Technology, which helps employees remember their mobile cell phone before it is left behind. Losing a cell phone used for work-related purposes increases company-issued phone loss claims and employee-owned cell phone loss…and a significant loss in productivity until the phone is replaced.
This Advanced Alert Technology allows for an adjustment to the phone separation alert distance, but can be shorter or further depending on the surrounding environments. This also enables adjustment of the alert tune, thus allowing for employees in the same office to have different alert tunes. The alert may also be temporarily suppressed for 15 mins, 30 mins, 1 hour, or 2 hours, if desired. And, for employees who do a lot of business travel, there is a “Travel Mode” where the PRD will alert if the phone is accidentally (or intentionally) picked up and moving away from the PRD; great for airports, bars, hotel lobbies, etc.!
IMPORTANT: The Prox PRD can be branded with your company name and/or logo. Picture your company name on all your employee’s keychains. Now your employees can carry your brand with them wherever they go, advertising your company each and every day.
If you value your employees’ phone (or company-issued cell phone) and their productivity, contact us today so we can discuss a phone reminder alert option for your company with a phone reminder device to protect the phones which help shape your business. We look forward to hearing from you.
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