As technology evolves, it has become easier than ever for an employee to work from home or from a remote location. The rise of smartphones enables an employee to call or otherwise connect with others or retrieve necessary data to close a deal or finish a report from wherever they are. However, should employees be able to use their personal smartphones for work just because they can?
There Are Potential Security Issues
Employers should be aware of security issues that may arise when an employee uses a personal phone for company business. While it may be possible to assume that a company network is secure within company property, there is nothing saying that an employee will always use secured networks when on the road. For instance, an employee could connect to a public WiFi hotspot that takes no security precautions. That could leave all of the company’s data vulnerable to those who know how to access it.
Potential Intellectual Property Issues Could Arise
If an employee were to come up with an idea while on company time and stored it on a personal device, who owns the idea? While it may be possible to have employees sign agreements saying that all creations are the property of the company, that move could open the business to potential legal action as well.
How Do You Monitor Internet Usage on a Personal Device?
Employers are allowed to have policies that dictate when and how an employee uses the Internet while on company time. However, employers are on the murkier ground when it comes to monitoring what employees do and see online using a personal device. It may be an invasion of privacy to see what employees are looking at. At best, employers may be able to block certain sites within its own network to try and limit how workers go online while on the clock.
Are Personal Devices Capable of Running Programs Efficiently?
An employee with an older phone may not be able to upload images, videos or other materials effectively because of network and phone settings. Therefore, it may be best to issue all employees their own company phone and make sure that they can access information on equal footing.
What’s Your IT Budget?
Making use of IT support services can cost more than a company can afford. While a good IT team can make it easier to promote security and safety within the company’s network, a new business may only have money for remote services or a basic server plan. In such a scenario, it may be easier to let employees use their own phones and use their own data plans to help keep costs down for the business until a proper plan can be created.
Should employees work on their personal phones? While it may make it easier for them to get work done, it could have many long-term ramifications. From a data security and intellectual property standpoint, it may be best to restrict work activities to company phones or other devices.