Should You Give Your Employees a Work Cell Phone?
As your business grows, you might wonder whether or not you should invest in work cell phones for your employees. But this change within your company can be expensive – so you want to consider the pros, cons and whether or not they really need a work cell phone at all.
You also need to consider which employees are suited for a work cell phone – think about it, will an employee that has no communication with clients really need one? Or is it only suitable for those who are actually traveling for business? Ultimately, all of these things and more need to be considered before you invest in company cell phones.
If you’re still unsure as to whether or not you should give your employees a work cell phone, the following list can help you to make the final decision. By laying out exactly who requires one, you’ll get a better understanding of how you can intelligently invest in them for your business.
Determining Who Needs a Work Cell Phone the Most
As we said, you probably have employees that need a work cell phone more than others. Here is a list of types of employees you should consider giving a work phone to as it will be beneficial to both them and your company.
Employees That Travel for Business
Do you have employees that are frequently traveling for business? They, and your business, would probably benefit from providing them with a work cell phone. By examining their role, alongside with how often they are in/out of the office, it will become clear that they likely need an additional phone from the company.
For example, a sales manager or regional director will require to be in contact with fellow employees and clients while they are traveling – as well as being able to manage key aspects of the business. As a result, they are in a position that requires a work cell phone.
Alongside the ability to call others, they will also have a device to create documents and take notes while they are on the move – so it’s a good idea to consider getting a smartphone or an additional tablet/laptop for them, too.
In the modern-day, clients, customers and other employees expect instant responses. So it’s essential that key members of staff are readily available for any queries or issues that arrive – no matter where they are located in the world at that time.
No matter what industry you’re in, IT and tech support employees are key to running your business. They need to be on hand when you need them for assistance, to ensure that your cybersecurity is up to snuff and to fix any technical issues, you need to be able to contact them within a tight timeframe.
This is where a work cell phone can come in – allowing them to quickly establish contact with either you or their fellow employees, they can get tasks done a lot more efficiently. Not only is a work cell phone good for talking audibly, but it can also be used for real-time visual interactions, such as Skype – whether it be for meetings or as a way to help solve a tech issue that has arisen.
This one may seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many on-call employees don’t have company cell phones. When you have employees that require to be ‘on-call’ at odd hours of the day, they need to be contacted quickly. When there is an emergency, time is of the essence, which is why they require a work cell phone. In the 20th and early 21st Century, on call employees would be contacted via pagers, but as technology advanced over the years, the methods of communication have changed.
In order to ensure that they are within easy reach and that their levels of productivity aren’t dropping, consider the efficiency that comes with a work cell phone.
Employees That Work Remotely
Nowadays, millions of employees across the world work remotely. Because of this, it’s essential that they are able to contact their fellow employees when necessary. Providing them with a work cell phone will ensure that they can perform their duties, while remaining in contact with others within the company.
This is also imperative when they need to talk to clients (or visa versa). Without a well-functioning mobile device, they might turn to a different company that’s able to provide them with the technology they need.
A Work Cell Phone as a Company Benefit
Now, not every employee will require a work cell phone but many businesses offer them as an added benefit from working there. Now, you can give all of your employees a cell phone however, this may not be financially sound for some businesses.
If you can afford to offer cell phones company-wide, do it. It can help you gain and retain top talent – especially if your competitors are not doing the same.
The Top Pros and Cons of Giving Your Employees a Work Cell Phone
Alongside determining which employees within your company need a work cell phone, it’s a good idea to look into the pros and cons that come with this decision.
Firstly, it’s clear that work-related expenses (such as the cost of a work cell phone) are covered by their employers. But when it comes to paying for the cell phone services when the employees are using their own mobiles, the process can seem a little tricky.
There are two key ways that you can approach expenses when it comes to company cell phones:
- You can have them pay the bill for their personal phone and reimburse them later
- Provide them with a phone specifically for work and simply pay the bill yourself every month
According to the Pew Research Center’s latest findings, 96% of Americans have cell phones – 81% have smartphones. From these statistics, it’s fair to determine that employees can use their own mobiles to conduct business – as long as they are reimbursed of course. The important thing is to make sure that everyone is using a reliable phone service.
Despite this being an option, it’s a good idea to look into the benefits that come with investing in work cell phones for them. Think about it, not everyone will want to use their own mobile to call clients or other employees – even if you are covering the bills associated with it.
See below to get a better idea as to whether it’s a move that’s right for you to give your employees work cell phones – or if the disadvantages outweigh the benefits when it comes for your business.
1. They are compatible
One of the key benefits of giving employees work cell phones is that everyone within the company will be using the same software and hardware. As you’ll be deciding what carrier, operating system, etc., are appropriate across the phones, everyone will be able to communicate and collaborate more efficiently.
Fitting the company’s needs to a tee, you can rest assured that every employee will have access to the same features and software – whether you opt for an Android or iPhone. Streamlining work for all departments (particularly IT departments), it will make the process more seamless.
2. They can be a worthwhile investment for some
Every business is looking to save money where they can – no matter what service or product they are selling. When it comes to investing in cell phones, it’s good to know that you’ll save when paying for multiple lines with one provider – instead of having to reimburse employees that are on different plans.
By establishing a business account under one provider, you’ll pay a lot less. Like buying items in bulk, the more lines that you need for your business, the less you will have to pay per line. As competition is rife amongst mobile phone providers, you’re able to get a great rate by comparing and contrasting the various plans that they have to offer.
Now, there are hosted office phone services that will route calls to cell phones without you having to buy new hardware. Click below to learn more about those options.
3. 24/7 Communication
As we mentioned, in certain businesses, it’s essential that some employees are readily available during odd hours. Whether it’s because of a tech issue or because there is an urgent query, you need to know that you’re able to contact them as soon as possible. It’s not only remote workers that require instant communication, but also other members of staff that need to be available on short notice.
Providing you can access to the correct person, the situation can then be resolved quickly without any delays occurring. In certain situations, when time is critical, this ability to communicate instantly could be the difference between your business succeeding or failing in the long term.
1. Costs To Upgrade Phones/Services
It’s both fortunate and unfortunate that technology is ever advancing. Even though it opens up the possibilities for many businesses, it can result in huge expenses in the long run. And cell phone technology is of the latter. As it’s changing rapidly, it’s evident that you’ll have to keep up with these changes.
While computer software and hardware can last for many years (as long they are maintained and updated), it’s unrealistic to think that work cell phones will do the same. Those that are a few years old simply can’t stand up against constant updates – resulting in many older devices being left behind.
Before investing in work cell phones, think about the costs associated with upgrading them every few years. If an employee is left with a slow device that doesn’t have the compatibility to instantly connect with clients or other employees, they will become frustrated and their productivity levels will decrease.
A good way to plan these expenses is negotiating a deal with a mobile service provider (something that is easier said than done), to determine whether or not they can offer you a good price when it comes time to upgrade your work cell phones.
2. Having to Carry More Than One Cell Phone At a Time
In 2019, it’s rare to see anyone without a cell phone in their hand – or within easy reach at least. Although many rely on them, it’s fair to say that not everyone will want to carry two cell phones at one time. Having said that, as many also don’t want to use their personal phones to conduct business – there might not be another choice. This is why it is important to find a balance between really needing a work cell phone or using their own phone and being reimbursed or being able to route office calls to cell phones.
3. Added Responsibility for IT Departments
While it benefits IT staff to have work cell phones themselves, they might not appreciate the extra work that comes with setting them up for other employees. As all work cell phones need the same software, the IT department will be in frequent demand as they’ll need to make updates accordingly. Servicing phones regularly and ensuring that they are fully operational, is an added responsibility on top of their existing duties.
Also, since the employees don’t technically own their phones, there is a chance that they will not take care of them – resulting in the IT department having to fix any issues that occur. Not only is this added stress, but it will also take them away from their other work – as well as costing the company more as they have to pay for replacements.
4. Not All Businesses Might Require Them
Before you invest in work cell phones, think about whether or not they are appropriate for your business.
If you have a small business with a small number of employees, you might not need cell phones as you’re able to communicate easily with them in person when needed. But if you have a large organization with many employees (a large number of which travel for business or work remotely), it can prove to be an invaluable way of communicating between departments.
(Recommended Read: Looking for a Great Phone System for a Small Business? Consider These Features)
As it can be a large investment, you need to look at your budget (as well as the costs associated with work cell phones) before making your final decision. Once you have sat down and considered this, alongside the pros and cons and which employees might need them, you’ll be able to determine their suitability.
If you are in the camp who feels that the cons outweigh the pros, there are great options out there that allow your employees to use their personal cell phones for work calls.
The LingoConnect Hosted PBX Mobile App, in particular, is known for integrated usability and performance, the app amplifies the LingoConnect service for increased interconnectivity! Your employees can:
- Make calls from their office number
- Be able to set specific times when calls can be routed to their cell phones
- Use call recording to ensure QA and improve future interactions with clients and customers
Contact the business phone experts at Lingo and find out if the LingoConnect phone service is right for you!