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Using Personal Phones for Business
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Using Personal Phone for Business

As the world continues to move forward towards technological dependency, mobile phones are becoming a necessity, a part of everyday life, and something that is rarely more than a few inches from your hand.  They are a part of daily routine now, from being your alarm clock in the morning, to being your music and movies at night. They play an integral role in most people’s daily lives.  Then there is the role that they play for work………

 

Surely you should not use your personal phone in the office, or for making work calls?

In fact, 87 percent of companies expect their people to have their personal devices available for work purposes. As the world becomes increasingly mobile and global, observing regular business hours and set work locations is fast becoming a thing of the past, why? Because nearly everyone is connected 24/7.

 

According to Statista,approximately 95 percent of households in the UK own a mobile phone. In addition to that, a report from GSMA states that there are 5.24 Billion people that have a mobile device in the world. That is about 66.92% of the world’s population who own a mobile device. Big data? Yes. With so many people owning their own phone, sometimes multiple phones, do employers ever really need to provide one to their staff? 

 

When you are advised to bring your personal mobile phone to work so you can do work related tasks it is what we call, “Bring your own device”  (BYOD).  You may frown upon this concept and consider it an infringement on your personal privacy. How often do you look at, use, play with, check your mobile phone in the office, or during working hours?  Employers realise that they can not stop you from doing something, so they might as well take advantage of it. It is becoming more popular at many workplaces. Why do employers do it? Why couldn’t they just provide work phones for their employees? It is after all basically a necessity to do their roles in the company. A typical answer and major reason is that it saves them money. Money on the mobile device, the mobile contract, the desk organiser, the headsets, the insurance, and everything included in issuing people with a mobile phone.

 

Mobile phones in business allow employees increased flexibility, autonomy and opportunity when working. This has numerous benefits both for the employer and the employee, and even the workers in the Gig Economy. The more flexible employees are, the more opportunities available to them. The more available a Gig Worker is, the more jobs that they can get. The more opportunities within a business, the more appealing it is to new recruits.

 

It saves you time!  If you are away from the office, customers can still communicate with you and vice versa. It could get you promoted. It could earn you more money. It could get you overtime, bonuses, or allow you to hit that target and earn bigger commissions. Thus, having a work mobile phone can boost productivity, mobility, safety and morale of your workforce.

 

Before we delve into the pros and cons of using your personal mobile phone at work, let us first consider why mobile phones are used at work.  

 

There is no doubt that mobile phones, specifically smartphones, have a lot of features and supported applications that can help people be more productive, efficient, organised, focused and can benefit your business.  

 

With employees having access to smartphones, they help you improve customer service, sales, communication and conflict resolution. Customers, colleagues and suppliers are all just a quick touch of the screen away. With a work phone, employees would not need to encounter personal material. Work phones and work content are all for business. If they are using their personal phone for work, they could delete content, send messages to the wrong people, mix up messages and break data policy laws. Your company could risk losing information or important texts. People have attested to the benefits of keeping your personal phone away from work as it decreases distractions which is possibly true since the mobile phone they would be using during office hours would only include content and contacts related to the job. 

 

If you are an employer, there are two ways you can utilize the benefits of mobile phones. One, you may reimburse employees for work or business-related communication through their cell phones or smartphones, or second, you will provide employees with company-owned mobile phones.

 

If you are an employee who has been asked to use your personal mobile phone for your work then here are some of the things you might watch out for and take into consideration:

 

What are the risks?

 

  • Prone to theft– as we are more dependent upon the use of technology, we become more vulnerable to some risks. The concept of stealing is not only walking off with someone’s phone, it also relates to hacking someone’s personal information. It is quick to grab and steal any precious items when they are exposed to the public. So before you consider protecting your data (which is also as important), you should be also attentive to guard your devices and do not leave it unattended.  

 

  • Security risks– it is a requirement of employees and businesses to have a fast and reliable WiFi internet connection in the office or any place you intend to do your work. Still, no matter how beautiful it may sound, anytime you are communicating over a WiFi network, whatever device you are using, there is a possibility of your communication being intercepted.

 

This problem is very relevant if you are using public WiFi. If you need to connect to a public one, better if you use a Virtual Private Network or VPN to safeguard your data. Moreso, for security purposes, always check if the website you are accessing has SSL connections. In general, always remember that personal devices may contain malicious apps or malware and could be more vulnerable to attack from online threats. If you are considering the BYOD policy, you must have a team of professionals that can help you formulate a contingency plan when such problems occur.

 

Whether it is intentional or accidental, private information may leak from unprotected and unmanaged devices. Personal devices that lack data encryption capabilities or can be lost or stolen, increase the risks of data loss or exposure.


 

As technology evolves and innovates, it is imperative to secure a strong password to avoid such situations. For employers, one major risk of having your employees use their personal device is the risk of data loss. Especially if you have confidential files that you are working on. This could put your business at risk of exposing private documents, or having company secrets uploaded to the Web. Chances are that your employees personal files are also mixed up with your business files, accounts, and personal information. Losing all that would not be pleasing.


  • Inconsistency – whether you are an employee or an employer, we can all relate that when files are transferred from old version to new version, it isn’t compatible. If you have five members in a team, expect that three of them would have different devices supported by different operating systems. If this happens, this will cause you trouble in finding a solution.

 

In addition to the issues of BOYD, storage of business and personal data on the same device may be challenging. An employer must also consider the security of data once it is stored on the device. Not everything is about negativity although what was stated above is true, there is still a bright side to the BYOD policy. 

 

For companies with large numbers of non-desk workers, the discussion about BYOD is imperative. When companies allow a remote workforce to use their personal mobile devices this might improve communication between desk-bound employees and their non-desk counterparts. Moreover, there is still a positive impact when desk-bound employees are mandated to comply with BYOD and here are some of the advantages:

 

What are the benefits?


  • Productivity – employees are more comfortable when they use a device they own. In fact, an article by Forbes shows 49 percent of employees say that they are more productive when using their own device.

 

Meaning, being familiar with a communication device is a big factor to workers productivity. In relation to familiarity, having a BYOD policy also equates to less training time, since employees are already comfortable with their own devices and they know how to get the best out of them. You can observe an increase in efficiency and a reduction in the time needed to complete tasks, which will produce positive output.

 

There is also a sense of ownership when employees use their own devices and would also give them a sense of taking care of it better than using business-owned equipment.


  • Financial savings – mobile phones are pricey and there is no denying that the higher quality you buy, the greater the price. Of course, it is also practical for some businesses to not allot a budget for mobile phones since it would also require a sim card plan, which can be costly. 

 

For that, it is reasonable to expect that employees will have their own phones, so reimbursement may be a sensible option as they would first consider the price for purchasing can be contributed in paying bills or for extra profit. Thus, employers would of course resort to implementing BYOD because it will save them money. 



With proper regulation and safety precautions, allowing employees to use their own devices for work can be an ideal workplace policy for some businesses.

 

Despite the cons that surround the BYOD policy, it can be trimmed down that when employees use their mobile phone, they will most likely juggle their personal businesses with their work and role as a representative of your company. Nevertheless, the BYOD trend showed a steady increase wherein 2018, 78.48% of organisations in the United States practiced BYOD. In the United Kingdom, 60 percent of finance and insurance companies are among the total number of enterprises engaged in BYOD.

 

In practicing BYOD, 60 percent of employees use a smartphone for work purposes while 31 percent desire one. Indeed, smartphones are the most efficient and recommended device for BYOD. Since most people are opting for BYOD, it is important to understand that once your business adheres to that set-up, you should be able to handle it well without compromising the brand identity of your company. While employees are using their own mobile phones; as an employer, you should still be competitive and distinct among competitors even if you implement the BYOD policy. 

 

Mobile phones are an imperative tool for communication these days. It gives us the power to provide service and answer inquiries from our stakeholders. Even if your employees are using their personal devices, did you know that you can still utilize them and be innovative for the best interest of your business without invading your employee’s privacy?

 

Visit ConXhub, a challenger telco if you are looking for alternatives to your VoIP communications system. How? With the latest tech inventions, you can now have more than one number on your personal Mobile Phone. With ConXhub, you can ditch the extra mobile and combine 2+ mobile phones into one SIM. 

 

You can tell your employees to keep their personal number and their private life private such that they can allocate each area of their life to a designated number. One number for colleagues, one number for clients, one number for online transactions, one number for dating etc. The list is infinite! In addition to that, if you subscribe to ConXhub, you don’t just merge two mobile numbers into one but you can also create unlimited numbers and only receive the calls you want. 

 

As the Bring Your Own Device trend is gaining more support from the business sector, it is ideal for employers to save money. Without buying new mobile devices for their employees, businesses can reimburse communication plans that enable their business to retain their branding. If you are a business owner or an employee who is tired of calculating and highlighting phone bills you used for work-related texts or calls, just imagine that with ConXhub, you can have all aspects of your life centralised and in your pocket on just one phone. 

 

As you let employees use their own, you also protect your business’ privacy, you help your employees stay super organised. That would increase efficiency in your business. 

 

Before you integrate BYOD into your business, you can follow these three vital steps to make sure your company will be ready:

 

  1. Conduct a thorough risk assessment before fully integrating the BYOD policy. This will let you identify the key strengths and weaknesses of conducting BYOD to your business environment.

 

  1. Consider your responsibility for data access, processing and storage but make sure that you will not violate any date privacy rights of your employees.

 

  1. Conclude a clear BYOD policy that is patterned to a legal guidelines to ensure that your policy is well-understood. 

 

Using a personal mobile phone for business may sound like a good idea due to the comfort it brings based on the mentioned benefits still, a lot has to be considered before you hand out your phone numbers to different people you meet in closing deals or proposing plans. 

 

The idea of efficiency and effectiveness is there but you must not get too reliant on using your personal mobile phone because one wrong tap can put you into big trouble. Saving money doesn’t necessarily mean compromising quality of service. You can innovate the use of your mobile phone into different functions.

 

ConXhub offers a great deal to maximise the Bring Your Own Device policy. Planning to buy a separate mobile phone for business? Ditch it. There is no need to purchase one when you can create unlimited numbers using your personal device to communicate with your team or to your clients abroad and still appear local. 

 

So if you plan to follow the trend of BYOD, make sure you include Conxhub to the plan.

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