In this advanced technological age, there are still some companies that are involved in the debate on whether to allow the employees to bring their own devices or not. It is true that many companies have strict policies, and their employees are required to follow them religiously.
Other companies are somewhat flexible and allow their employees to bring their devices but use them in a limit. However, for workers, keeping their mobile phone with them gives them a sense of relief as it is easier for them to make contact with anyone at the time of need, plus they do not prefer to rent a mobile phone just to make a call or leave an important message.
Let’s be honest, we all are familiar with the fact that personal devices are being used greatly today as compared to the past and that in the United States, there are more cellphones, than people.
For a large number of organizations, enabling the employees to bring their devices at the workplace is a source of improved productivity, innovation, and of course, cutting costs. But this does not mean that there are no risks involved in this.
However, it cannot be denied that allowing smartphones at workplaces improve work performance as people can easily access their data stored in the cloud through their mobile phones. The use of tools, including Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft Office, can also be made easier. Using a mobile phone to fetch the required data is easier and less time-consuming than logging into a system.
Large scale organizations, however, are still concerned about the risks. They are indeed in favor of creating an environment that boosts employee productivity and work efficiency, but they also do not want any liability to create a negative influence on an organization’s activities.
One of the biggest concerns of employers is the security risk that involves the usage of personal devices or mobile phones. Of course, an organization is at risk when allowing its workers to bring mobile phones at work because it has zero control over their personal devices and this can result in the company’s sensitive data getting compromised.
However, many firms do provide their own devices to the workers with their own policies regarding the usage of devices. This can give the company control over its employees.
There are many pros and cons of including mobile phones in the workplace and in order for a company to decide whether to allow it or not, decision-makers must understand both.
The Cons of Including Mobile Phones in the Workplace
In-office, co-workers usually get distracted by mobile phones. Using mobile phones for a longer period of time can disturb their work performance and also their co-workers’.
It also disturbs the peaceful environment that is generally required to help employees stay focused on their work. So to maintain the work efficiency, decision-makers must formulate rules to minimize the use of mobile phones by workers at the workplace as much as possible.
A study was done by Men’s Journal on smartphones, and according to that, being distracted by mobile phones at the workplace can also lead to the occurrence of various mistakes.
An example given in the study said that getting distracted for only 2.8 seconds can result in twice the amount of mistakes. And 4.4 seconds of distraction can lead to a triple amount of mistakes. This can be actually bad if the worker is a driver or a surgeon.
Moreover, while sneak-peeking at your smartphone at work, you can find many funny messages or social media posts that you would want to share with your co-workers. This can not only affect your performance but also theirs. You are useless and inefficient at work for the time that you are spending on your mobile phone.
Most of us are guilty when it comes to addiction to gaming. The gaming apps for smartphones are getting appealing every day. Hence keeping a mobile phone with you at work might result in feeling a constant urge to check new updates or game missions. This can be actually unavoidable.
Workers who like to play games on their mobiles might have their work performance negatively affected by this. It will not only delay their tasks, but also there is a huge chance that they will end up making various mistakes.
In a nutshell, strict rules must be made to restrain workers from playing games in working hours. It is certain that if one person is playing a game on his mobile, his co-workers or team members will also be distracted by the urge of taking a look at it or giving it a try.
Who does not engage in texting? Many of us do it. Even if we think it is something urgent and should be handled right away, texting during work hours can affect one’s work efficiency. You will constantly be thinking about what to write in reply, and your focus will be diverted from your work.
This was common in young people, but now adults are also seen unknowingly doing it. Employers are concerned about time theft. Of course, they do not pay workers for texting while at work.
The Pros of Including Mobile Phones in the Workplace
Due to the existence of business-related apps, mobile phones play a notable role in boosting productivity. Applications that are used for emailing, taking notes, and for social networking are contributing to improved work performance of employees.
When an employee is able to check his email no matter where he is instant, it counts as efficient performance — usage of a network such as 4G LTE results in increased productivity. For workers who use less internet on their cellphones but still need a faster connection speed can choose plans like T-Mobile pay as you go to work plans.
Mobile phones can save you at the last minute from several embarrassments and losses whether they are on the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program or are provided by the company itself.
The major benefit includes the facility of video conferencing through Skype and other apps that support audio/video conferences. To remain in contact with people, clients, or co-workers that live in some other country in order to discuss work matters, audio and video calls help a lot.
In the business world, people are now more dependent on their mobile devices to discuss business deals with clients who live on the other side of the world.
Let’s have a look at some valuable tips from Microsoft about how to boost productivity in the workplace with mobile phones
- Access the data of your company by using your smartphone.
- Use your device as a collaboration command center.
- Make use of your mobile phone to get things done quickly and efficiently.
Mobile phones enable people to work no matter where they are. From home or even from a beach that they have gone to for a vacation. This mobility saves times and results in better work performance.
You can take a day off but from your home so that you will not have your salary deducted and you will be able to complete your tasks on time. This is another benefit that not only keeps the employer happy but also helps the employee to work with comfort and relaxation.
Safety And Security
Allowing phone in workplaces can help in case of any emergencies. No one can tell when something bad will happen, so having a mobile phone with you can help you to get out of life-threatening situations. It enables you to make contact faster.
Some examples include:
- Heart Attack: In case of a heart attack at the workplace, getting medical help as soon as possible can be made easy with the help of a mobile phone. Timing plays an essential role in such situations, and therefore it is better to have tools of help and efficient means of communication.
- Catastrophe: In case of any fire accidents, people who have cellphones with them can immediately contact the fire extinguishing department to send help. This can save many lives from getting compromised and several people getting injured.
Work can be stressing at times and having a little break for using cell phones and calling home, or a loved one for moral support can be refreshing. It can actually lead to improves work performance. Not only this but using social media and finding a funny meme or tweet can also help to uplift the mood and release stress. No one likes to work like a robot; hence it is better to calm yourself for a few minutes.
It is not bad to take a break and play a game just to divert your mind from an irritating and hurtful comment that someone made. You can also listen to a song or two to feel better and then get back to your work with new zeal and motivation.
Having a cellphone also gives a sense of relief. You can check if everything is okay at your home, your kids are doing okay, and everything is fine. You can be at ease by knowing that you will be contacted in case of any emergency. This helps employees to stay focused on their work and perform better.
Companies and decision-makers must understand all the advantages and disadvantages of allowing mobile phones in the workplace before making any decision. Some organizations show negligence and bound their workers to follow the rules and that unfortunately results in poor work performance. However, the advantages are in favor of both the company and its workers.