Employers will often cover work-related expenses for employees who are doing their jobs remotely, which can include the use of smartphones. Employers can consider two different scenarios when it comes to providing smartphones for their employees. They can either reimburse employees for any work- or business-related communication done through their smartphone, or provide employees with company smartphones.
Today, a huge percentage of people around the world own and use smartphones, so it’s reasonable to expect that your employees will have or need a smartphone of their own. When your employees have their own smartphones, reimbursement can be a sensible option to consider. However, there are also some benefits of providing employees with company smartphones too. It’s important for employers to consider all the factors and weigh up the pros and cons of each option before deciding whether or not to provide employees with smartphones. For example, allowing everybody to have the same hardware and software is a main pro of offering company smartphones. But on the other hand, some people might not want to carry two devices at the same time.
Providing smartphones to employees means that employers can choose a provider, hardware, and an operating system that fits the company best. If your employees are going to be completing a lot of work using their smartphone, it’s a wise idea to provide one to them that works well with the other hardware and software that your business uses. Whatever brand you choose, it’s a good way to ensure that all your employees have access to the same software and features required to do their job. This can help to streamline the IT department and make internal communication easier.
2. Cost Savings:
When reimbursing employees for the cost of business use on their personal smartphones, you are going to be covering the cost of several plans at different rates. Establishing a business account for multiple smartphones with a single provider can help you save money over time. You can sign up for a provider like Lebara, which offers a range of plans to choose from depending on employee needs that can be changed each month based on the individual circumstances. This allows you to never spend more than what is needed by each employee rather than covering some of the cost of a personal plan. Check out Lebara’s website to find out more about the plans that they offer, starting from just £5 per month. It’s fully flexible, you’re never tied in, and all plans offer international minutes applicable to over forty countries.
3. Easier Communication:
Working remotely is not the only situation where employees can benefit from having a company smartphone. In some cases, when certain employees are on call or accessible at very short notice, carrying a company smartphone can make it easier for employers to get hold of the right person quickly when needed.
1. Upgrade Costs:
Smartphone technology is moving very quickly today, even when compared to other tech products. While computer hardware and software might be something that will last your business for several years after the initial investment, most of the time, a smartphone that is more than a couple of years old will struggle to keep up with current demands. Of course, this will depend on what your employees are using their company smartphones for. If they’re mainly for calling, texting and email, you might be able to get away without providing an upgrade for longer. On the other hand, if your employees need access to the latest tech in order to do their jobs, you can usually expect to upgrade their devices at least once every two years.
2. IT Demand:
While having access to the same hardware and software can streamline IT for your business, company-owned smartphones can still create more demand and work for your IT department since they will still need to be serviced regularly by technology professionals. Employees are responsible for maintaining their own personal smartphones that they use for work; however, when a problem arises with a company-owned smartphone, your IT department will need to step in and solve the issue. In addition, some employees may not be as careful with a company-owned smartphone since they don’t own it personally, which can lead to an increase in the number of replacements needed.
3. Carrying Multiple Smartphones:
While most people today have a smartphone, not many people are happy about the idea of carrying two. Carrying two smartphones can simply add extra baggage to your everyday belongings and it can get confusing when either phone rings. It’s important for companies to establish solid policies surrounding the personal use of company-provided smartphones – however, most employees are not keen to conduct any personal business on a company-owned smartphone that can be monitored by their employer. As a result, having two smartphones – one for personal and one for work – is the only option, and it’s not usually a popular one. In addition, most employees say that they would appreciate to be reimbursed for the work-related activity on their personal phone wherever possible, although some employees do prefer to keep the two completely separate. Ultimately, it’s down to you to find out more about what your employees want and how they would prefer to do things when it comes to their smartphone use for work.
Should Employees Use Their Personal Phones for Work?
Another option to consider if you want to provide your employees with a work smartphone is a dual-SIM smartphone. This solves the issue of having to carry two devices since your employee can use both their personal plan and the company SIM card in the phone simultaneously.
On the other hand, around 75% of employees today will use their personal mobile phone at work. Research found that around 65% of employees are happy to give their personal numbers to clients and customers, and those who have an office phone system tend to forward their calls to their personal mobile. There are several benefits of allowing employees to use their personal phones at work including mobility and staying connected to the workplace and customers, simplicity, and autonomy.
That being said, there are some arguments against allowing employees to use their personal smartphones for work purposes and instead providing them with a company smartphone. One of the most compelling arguments against BYOD when it comes to smartphones is that of security. When employees are using their personal devices and giving out their personal numbers, their security and privacy cannot be guaranteed in the same way that it would when using a company smartphone. In addition, some employees would prefer to have a company smartphone since they would rather their employer does not have access to the personal data that is stored on their device.
Today, smartphones have become an essential part of life and they are often an essential part of how we do our jobs. The question of whether to reimburse employees for using their personal phones for business use or to provide them with a company smartphone is one that should be carefully considered by employers. There are both pros and cons to consider with each option and it should ultimately come down to which option works best for you and your employees.