Pros and Cons of Giving Mobile Devices to Your Employees

by J.B. Maverick

2 min read

In this digital age, your small business most likely uses technology to function and stay competitive. Depending on the type of business you run, the use of online applications such as accounting software can be especially helpful for travelling or remote employees. This, however, requires employees to have smartphones, tablets, or laptops. There are positives and negatives to consider before supplying your staff with such mobile devices.

Advantages of Mobile Devices

There are apps and programs that allow your workers to clock in, load expense reports, check schedules, and perform numerous other tasks on their smartphones or other mobile devices. Giving employees their own business smartphones keeps you constantly connected to your workers, and it allows them to stay in constant contact with the office and with one another. This ensures a steady flow of communication between departments, boosting productivity through the day and potentially improving your bottom line. Another benefit to supplying your workers with mobile devices is the minimization of liability. Company information – including all data, trade secrets, and even intellectual property – is better protected on a company-supplied mobile device, because you can control when and how company information is accessed and used. As a business, you can also obtain corporate-level security software that better protects your company’s information from being leaked or hacked.

Disadvantages of Mobile Devices

Your small business could rack up a significant bill supplying such workers with mobile devices. While certain carriers offer deals to businesses, the cost may ultimately still be fairly steep and may not fall within your company’s budget. Another financially taxing disadvantage to consider involves overtime payment for travelling or remote employees who extend their work days on their mobile devices. Employees with company-issued mobile devices may continue to work past scheduled hours. The ease of access to work that mobile devices provide often prompt employees to work longer hours, potentially making your company liable for considerable overtime wages. There is also the issue of mobile device management. As a small company, you probably don’t have an information technology department to manage the selection, budgeting, and overseeing of the devices you issue. You or another employee would have to take on these tasks, as well as managing the apps and tools employees can use and wading through all of the information on the devices themselves. Your small business time resources may be negatively impacted by taking on this burden. Before buying and supplying your employees with any mobile device, it is important to consider the positive and negative implications attached to such an investment. The connectivity, potential for boosted productivity, and security that company-supplied devices provide may warrant the cost in money and time, or they may simply be out of your company’s budget. Weigh the relative pros and cons for your business and your employees before making a decision on this issue.

References & Resources

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