There is no doubt that healthy communication is one of the major tenants off good business. Supplying your employees with a company mobile phone is the ideal way to give them the means to contact whoever they need to quickly and appropriately. Company mobile phones supplied to employees makes employees realise it is inappropriate to use their own phones during business hours for personal reasons unless there is an emergency. Fitting company mobile phones into the workplace may be more difficult than first envisioned however. For one, mobile phones often disturb meetings to the extent that some employees are told to leave their mobiles at their desks during this time. Also, using a company phone while driving is not advised practice as this is considered unsafe.
Successfully Integrating Mobile Phones in the Workplace
HR policy on mobile phone use of employees is a useful place to start looking for learning how company mobile phone use can be a mostly positive and not detrimental, practice. Poor mobile phone practices can lead to disrupting behaviour in the workplace and even possibly raise legal issues. For this reason, try to bring in the help of your managers and legal advisory connections as well as your HR staff when formulating a policy. Getting help from IT staff can also help if the mobiles you supply need to fit in with email servers, have use of particular built-in apps or have particular calling functions.
Making Up a General Mobile Phone Use Policy
Having employees annoy others in meetings with mobile phones can be helped by using the vibrate signal when receiving a call or message instead of a loud ringtone. Better than that, ask staff to leave the room if they receive an important call or need to make an important text. Or, you might consider telling staff to just leave their mobiles at their desks during business meetings. Remember that leaving voicemails can be an effective way to communicate with a mobile. It lets someone state a succinct message about the situation and lets others have time to hear that message and think on it before replying.
When Employees Need to Use their Mobiles
Encourage your workers to speak in low tones when they are using a mobile, or to move to a designated area where they can talk freely like a lobby, call area or cafeteria. Communication on mobile phones, especially if clients are involved, should always be professional. It may be tempting to communicate less formally over a mobile instead of by letter, email or landline but getting into this habit is not a good idea. Remember that the mobile phones should be used with courtesy and respect with appropriate behavioural boundaries at all times.
Helping Employees Carry around their Mobiles
There are more efficient ways to carry around a mobile phone than just in the pocket. Your company can produce colourful lanyards that have a phone holder clip on the end of them which employees wear around their neck. This only works for phones that have a bar, however. It includes a string loop which forms a phone attachment. Or, you may like to use a clipper which works for Blackberries and iPhones but not flip phones. These lanyards are very suitable for employees on the move or on the job and advertise the employee’s status at the same time. Mobile phones can also be carried in bum bags worn around the waist. Consider supplying your mobile phones with suitable protective cases so that they last longer.
Other Mobile Phone Issues at Work
State certain times when employees are allowed to use their personal mobile phones and ban any use outside of these time zones, apart from for emergency calls. If employees are using personal devices for business reasons they should be reimbursed this money. Getting employees to highlight all work related calls on a bill could be an option, but of course it may be easier simply to supply work phones to everyone and state that all work-related activity must be done on these phones alone. If work phones are supplied, these should be turned off by a secure service if they are lost or stolen. Phones that come with GPS mean that employees can be tracked, perhaps out of hours. Ask employees to turn off work phones during out of hours if they do not want this to happen.
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