All our lives are so technology driven, that it is hard to imagine ourselves without technology. Cell phones have been not only part of our lives but also a necessity without which we cannot live.
Our personal and professional lives are so dependent on cell phones, that it is difficult to balance our lives without them. Everything is available on phone, from a watch to a music player.
An organization provides these cell phones to the employees, entrusting that they make the right use of it and believes that they will use to only for official purposes.
It is a gesture from an organization, that they care for the employee to increase their work efficiency and prevent them using their own personal cell phones for official work.
Company Cell Phone Policy for Employees?
- If they are the salesperson or executives who are travelling most of the time across cities or countries. With the help of service provider, they can be reachable to you most of the time.
- If your employee is in tech support, a company cell phone will help them to quickly get in touch with the concerned person and get the issues resolved, even while outside the workplace.
- If your important employees are on vacation and need to be contacted urgently, then company cell phone will come handy as this will be used only when it is required.
- If your employee handles critical work for the company and is required to be contacted after office hours. Company cell phone will be quite efficient for them.
- It is easier than reimbursing the employees for the cell phone charges, as you can contact the service provider and ask for corporate specific plans.
Why You Need Company Cell Phone Policy?
Have you seen many times, your employees are using the business phone for personal uses frequently?
Have you seen your employees spending countless hours on social media or playing games on company cell phone?
Despite informing them about the cell phone usage they do not pay attention to your words. This is not only the waste or resources provided to the employee but reduces the work efficiency too.
The company has to incur the costs of the phone bills that come into to picture. This additional cost then reduces the company’s profits.
Misuse of the privilege given to an employee, should not be accepted. As a business, you need to care for your employees, but there require certain boundaries too.
When establishing company cell phone policy, you need to be sensitive towards the employee usage of company cell phones and their personal cell phone.
What to be considered when creating cell phone policy
You need to have some idea or guidelines for writing down the company cell phone policy. Ask certain questions, to begin with.
Company Cell Phone Policy at Work:
- How will this be an advantage and disadvantage to you or your employee?
- Do you frequently find your employees misusing the company cell phone?
- Are they sharing information through your company cell phone?
- Will your employees be ok with the policies and guidelines?
- What are the cell phone usage requirements of your employee?
- Will you as an employer address your employees’ issues and concerns?
You need to have valid reasons to be able to formulate the required guidelines. This will help that you don’t need to micromanage your employees.
Tips for Creating a Cell Phone Policy at Work:
1. Put It in Writing
2. Address Privacy, Accountability, and Legitimate Cell-Phone Use
3. Specify What is Not Permitted.
4. Communicate the Policy Through All Available Formats
5. Enforce the Policy Consistently and Across the Board
Who Should be the Part of your Company Cell Phone Policy Team?
Bring a diverse group of people within your company, who can give their experiences and views before finalizing the policy.
- Definitely, your HR team will be involved in it from the start. They will ensure that employees and company cordially benefit from the rules.
- Bring few senior managers from the different teams, as representatives. So that one team or a group should feel left out as not considered.
- Get your IT team into the picture, as they will bring in the technical points too, especially when your company’s email id is integrated into it.
- IT team will also ensure to keep a track of cell phone usage for purposes other than work.
- Get your legal team also on the table, to ensure that all the rules and regulations are met keeping in with the rules in general.
What to Include in your Company Cell Policy?
Draft certain rules that can be followed by your employees, allow some level of freedom to them, as this will maintain the balance between their work and personal life.
- Allow your employee to share the company cell phone number with their family. As they may contact them during the scene of the emergency.
- An employee should take the permission if they require using company cell phone for personal use.
- To ensure that the emergency calls are not frequent.
- The company number given to the employee should be in the name of the company itself.
- Keep a regular track of bills and calls made by the employee and update them about it during their joining.
- Do check the number of official calls vs. personal calls made with the company cell phone.
- The employee should immediately report the loss of the device, failing which may lead to certain actions.
- Have a GPS tracking system activated on the phone. This comes in handy, especially if there is traveling involved with your employee.
- The company phone should not be exchanged or given to someone else, within or outside the organization. The employee will be responsible for any damage done to it.
- Employees are allowed to download apps only if they are necessary and the number for the same should be limited.
- Employees should not download social media platforms on the company cell phone.
- Avoid playing games on the company cell phone.
- The camera usage of the phone should be restricted if it is not needed for the work.
Cell phones etiquettes that need to be there:
Your employee is the brand ambassador for the company, how they talk to the customers or the client is what they are saying about your company.
For example, if your employee is responding to a customer with rude language or tone, it may lead you to lose a customer, leading to a bad review for the company.
This becomes important to not only formulate the company cell phone usage policy but to train your employees about it too.
- The abusive or rude language should be avoided while attending the calls through company cell phone, within or outside the office premise.
- Take the calls when in the right place, for example, while traveling or in crowded places, avoid taking the calls. It’s ok if it goes to the voicemail.
- While talking over the phone in the office premise, be sure to have a right level of voice, it should not distract the other members of the team.
- If your employees are getting any inappropriate messages or calls on the company cell phone, then they need to immediately inform the HR or the concerned manager, for the immediate measure can be taken.
Cell phones etiquettes inside the office:
Even if its a company cell phone, your employees require some guidelines how they can be used inside the office premise, without disturbing others or hampering the daily work.
- Keep the phone in vibrate mode , rather than on a ringtone, as the loud ringtones are a distraction for other people working in the same space.
- Prevent to bring phones during the meeting hours, until unless one is expecting an urgent call.
- If the phone needs to be attended during the meetings, it should be answered outside the meeting room.
- Maintain a healthy verbal communication over the phone.
On the road policy:
Using a company phone has its own privileges. As an employer, you need to ensure that your employees are using the company cell phone wisely while on the road.
Any damage is done or accident happened, with company phone being the reason, will create issues later on. Therefore, train and inform your employer about the correct use of cell phone on the road.
- Using company cell phone will driving or on the road, should be strictly prohibited. As this is a serious issue to be taken care of.
- If your employees are full-time drivers, train them to attend the calls once they are not driving. Discourage call receiving while traveling.
- Also, texting while driving or on the road should be discouraged. There has been an increase in the number of road accidents because people respond to their phones while on road.
- Use a good voicemail greeting which mentions the unavailability of answering the call.
- It is ok to let the call go to the voice mail. You can later call back and inform the person, the reason why they were not able to receive the call.
- If it is an urgent call that needs to be answered, it is better to pull up the vehicle aside, or walk aside and then answer the call.
Corporate Cell Phone Policy Best Practices:
Now comes the part, where your employees need to be communicated these policies.
- Conduct regular sessions to inform your employees about the rules of using company cell phone.
- When a new candidate joins the company, ensure, that they are thoroughly familiarized with company policies.
- Send emails at regular intervals, which keeps your employees updated about the policy change or using the office cell phones.
- Ensure, that the manager of the team regularly updates their team about the company cell phone usage policies and keeps a check how their team is making use of the phones.
- Ask your employees to read and sign the document which shares the use of company cell phone, before handing them over, as an approval that they duly understand the use of cell phone.
- Ask the team manager, to regularly discuss the terms and conditions for company cell phone usage, during their team meetings.
- Upload the information on the common portal or on the blog of the company website, and share with your employees, so that they can go through it as in when required.
- Post these rules on the bulletin boards of the frequently visited rooms by the employees, such as canteen and break rooms.
Disciplinary actions that can be taken:
If you find your employees violating the code of conduct, then it is advisable to take certain necessary actions.
- Give a fair warning if you find your employee misusing the office phone.
- Depending on the severity of the violation, it can lead to the employment termination. For example, if some confidential data has been shared with the company phone.
Using a company cell phone is mostly a trust bond between an employer and an employee, which should be respected deeply.
If an employee needs to use the cell phone for personal use or for the emergency call, it is good to inform the company with relevant reasoning.
Keeping a check on the cell phone use during meetings and other such areas will increase the efficiency of the employee.
The misuse of company cell phone may also lead to legal actions, that can be taken from the company side.
A watchful step will prevent your employee getting into such concerns in future.