With the advent of hybrid and remote workplaces, mobile phones are playing an increasingly important role. You have the choice to allow your employees to use their own devices and institute a BYOD policy or provide devices for them. Both of these options come with their pros and cons, and you’ll have to evaluate which one will be the best based on your company’s needs, nature, employees, and logistics. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of giving phones to employees.
Pro – No Compatibility Issues
A lot of businesses only realise after the fact how complicated it is to deal with all sorts of different devices. This means that you need to worry about which ones will be compatible with your company’s apps and any third-party apps employees will be using on their phones.
When you pick the phones for your team, you can choose which hardware, OS, and carrier best fits your needs. For instance, you might have a hard time if you have an equal number of employees using Androids or iPhones. You may be using a lot of Google products and be partial to them. In this case, it would make sense to buy everyone Androids. Either way, you will know that everyone in your company will have access to the same features and will be able to use the same software.
Con – Having to Carry Two Mobile Phones
Your employees may never tell you this, but many will resent having to carry two phones with them everywhere you go. This is why most companies will and should have a policy for personal use of a business phone.
Still, many of your employees may not want to share sensitive information over a line they know is being monitored, so they will bring their second phone with them regardless. If convenience is important for you and doesn’t present any security implications, consider going BYOD instead.
Pro – Save Money
With BYOD policies, many employers will offer to cover the usage of personal mobile phones for work purposes. The issue is that you don’t know what type of deal the person has, and you may even have to pay exorbitant overage charges in some cases. This makes budgeting and forecasting very difficult.
When you buy phones for your employees, you can also choose the carrier. This means that you can go for any type of deal that you want.
In this case, SIM-only plans could be your best option. They make it easy to terminate a plan in case one of your employees leaves. You can also pick plans with hard caps to prevent things from going overboard.
Lebara is one example of a carrier that offers such deals. Not only do they offer these types of deals but they allow you to earn money through their Lebara refer a friend scheme. The Lebara Refer & Earn program allows you to earn cash online by referring other employees. They can also earn money from home by referring friends of their own, which will be a nice bonus on their current pay.
Con – More Work for Your IT Team
While having everyone use the same hardware and OS facilitates the work of your IT team at some level, it also means more work for them at the end of the day. When employees use their phones, they will usually be the ones responsible for dealing with issues. If you own the phones, you will be the one responsible for having them serviced, so be prepared for that.
Not only that, but many employees will not treat company property as they would their own. This means that there are more likely to damage or misplace the phone, which is both costly and potentially dangerous.
Pro – Better Security
One of the drawbacks of a BYOD policy is that you can’t have as much control over how secure the phones your employees are using are. They might be outdated or have inherent security flaws. These flaws are now a liability for your company. Monitoring activity and applying barriers to different types of devices will also be more difficult.
Instead, you could choose a phone you know has great security and prevent many issues that way. Making swift updates will be simpler as well.
Con – Higher Initial Costs
Having to pay for your employees’ mobile phones can be a serious expense. We’re talking easily over £5,000 if you have to equip 10 employees and more. Remember, you can’t afford to go for something cheap here as you may not get a phone that is safe or powerful enough. So, make sure that you are ready for the initial costs and all the costs that come from maintaining units.
Pro – Round the Clock Access and Monitoring
Having your employees using their phones will also give you much more control over what they do 24/7. This is not only great for monitoring. You may have some people on your team that need to be easily reachable in case of emergency, such as IT professionals, for instance. This is why it’s often required in the job description that they carry a company phone at all times. When there’s an emergency, quick responses are very important, and a company phone could be what saves you from a disaster.
Con – Upgrades
Upgrading phones is another major concern when buying phones for your whole team. While things like laptops can last for years, it is usually not recommended to use phones that are older than two years for security reasons. This could be very difficult to stomach for a business, especially if you’re already struggling with overheads. So don’t go for this option unless you’re 100% sure you can afford it.
These are only some of the pros and cons of giving phones to your employees. You should check which option would be the best for your current operation and budget, and don’t hesitate to get your employees involved in the decision as well.