The continued prevalence of cellular devices presents an ongoing challenge for business owners and HR managers. While utilizing these devices to increase communication and provide valuable tools to your remote employees, such as web SMS text clocking, an effective cell phone policy at work must be established to prevent time theft, compliance issues, and security breaches. Should you utilize your employees’ personal smart devices in the workplace? There are plenty of reasons why the answer to this question should be “Yes!”
Why You Should Consider Using Smart Devices for Mobile Workforce Management
If you have employees who don’t come into the home office on a regular basis, you should definitely consider mobile workforce management options that facilitate communication with those employees and allow them to easily track their time and schedules.
By implementing a program that utilizes their personal smart devices, you are reducing costs and time because you don’t have to buy new equipment or train your employees on that equipment. Your team can use the devices they’re already familiar with and won’t have to worry about carrying around additional devices they may be unfamiliar with.
How to Establish an Effective Employee Cell Phone Policy
Encouraging or requiring your employees to use personal devices for work use certainly has its advantages, but it has plenty of pitfalls, as well. To make sure your employees are not taking advantage of the opportunity, and to prevent possible security and privacy breaches, you need to make sure you have an effective employee cell phone policy established. Here are some tips to point you in the right direction:
Your employees won’t know what they should or should not be doing with their personal devices unless you tell them the rules. Communicating expectations is vital to any new policy implementation, and it should be your first priority when putting yours in place.
When you incorporate technology, such as web sms text clocking or cellular-based schedule management, it’s the perfect time to develop guidelines and make sure all of your employees are on board.
Schedule a company-wide meeting and rope in remote or mobile employees via conference video conference call. Tell them the benefits of the new technology and refer to any upcoming training you have planned, then go over the guidelines you’ve written out and will be sending to them. Open the meeting up to questions so that your team can voice concerns or ask for clarification.
Keep Policies Consistent
It might be tempting to develop different rules and guidelines for those employees who are in the home office frequently and those who mostly work on a remote basis. However, keeping the policy consistent throughout your team reduces the possibility of misunderstandings, accusations of unfair treatment, and resentment among team members. If a rule applies to one group and not another, gray areas open up and you might find that employees start adhering less and less to the guidelines.
Indicate Which Smart Devices Can Be Used
What types of smart devices are allowed under the new guidelines? If the technology you have incorporated requires only the use of a cellular phone, there’s no reason to allow employees to use personal tablets or other devices that might lead to wasted time or other problems. Be clear about which smart devices you are referring to in the guidelines and make it clear that this does not open the door to use of other personal technology.
Establish Safety Guidelines
The last thing you want is for the use of smart devices to endanger your employees. Make sure you have a clear policy of shutting off or not using devices while driving or operating machinery. It might sound self-explanatory that an employee shouldn’t try to clock in while driving to a meeting, but it never hurts to put this into the guidelines and make it known what your expectations are on this issue.
Keep Privacy and Security in Mind
When you are establishing a cell phone policy at work, you must factor privacy and security into the equation. If one of your employees downloads an infected attachment on his tablet, this can bring your entire system down. Personal devices can open the door to hackers and breaches, and can also be a risk factor in costly HIPAA violations. If your business is in the healthcare industry, one off-color tweet, unsecured email file, or picture posted to social media could cause huge problems.
Utilizing smart technology to help manage your workforce and provide easy and efficient ways for your employees to track and manage their schedules is a great way to take your business into the 21st century. If you plan to incorporate this technology, make sure you take the time to develop an effective cell phone policy based on the above five tips.