Last week I wrote about an application for Smartphone called YUILOP. This cool app offers you the chance to send free SMS to your friends who sadly do not posses any Smartphone like you.
Going through the topic I mentioned before I wrote that nowadays is quite important to be able to have internet wherever you go, especially if where you work at you need to be in constant communication with superiors and clients, or if you need to do business constantly abroad. Cell phones have become vital for many businesses, improves communications amongst the workplace and provides a valuable tool for workers to do their job.
So why they actually do it? Why do companies give an Smartphone to their employees?
James Bucki, the Director of Computing Technology at Genesee Community College, explains:
“salespeople and executives are the most frequent employees that travel on company business. They must be reachable in order to service customers, manage the business and make quick decisions.”
Customers are now expecting rapid responses to their needs and a cell phone in the employee´s hand will give you an advantage over your competition.
Some other reasons of having employees with cell phones at all times is to be able to address them when they are on the road e.g. for a meeting, or for technical support if somebody in the office requires it. The two reasons mentioned above reduces cost to the company, because you don´t need then an extra person to cover that employee, you just give him/her a call and fix the issue.
As a company if you decide to give to your employees a mobile device, Leo Kreuzweird, a blogger from Yahoo! Contributor Network for topics related to business and law, suggests to consider the following:
- What service provider you want to go with.
- Need to consider whether a national rate or better an international one (depends on your business and your employee business needs).
- If your provider also provide services overseas.
- Also what kind of equipment is the best for the employee (for example if the person is in their early twenties would get used to an Iphone better than somebody who is in their fifties)
- What plan is the best, how many minutes your employee really needs, or if it better a flat rate on text messaging, etc.
Smartphones have allowed workers to become more organized, also allows to receive email outside the office and where they can efficiently answer an email for a client right away instead of losing them to a competitor. Also most of Smartphones offer the ability to edit documents, so if you are outside or on a business trip, holiday, etc you can quickly make a change to a document and send it right back at the office.
The disadvantage of having a company smartphone is that when you terminate your working contract you must have to return the device.
Is there another option?
There are also some companies that are willing to help you pay for the personal device of your choise , like for example Citrix Systems, Inc.
At Information Week, the Business Value of Technology, Charles Babcock reports how Citrix employees are getting subsidy from the company to select the device they prefer.
In this article Mr. Babcock describes how Citrix implemented a policy of bring-your-own-computer to work for 3500 Citrix laptop users, willing to pay them $2,100 to pick out the computer of their choise.
This is quite an incentive for the employees to be able to upgrade themselve to a higher level multimedia machine. Paul Martine, the CIO of Citrix Systems and the creator of this policy mentioned before pointed out that people have tended to go and spend a $1,000 more than what they give them. Most of the employees wouldn´t go there and buy a laptop of $3,000 by their own, they consider it irresponsible, but with the $2,100 stipend is not a problem anymore.
And what about security?
Well for the employees that bring their own device to the workplace, they must storage all the important company data in an encrypted “safe zone” folder, so in the case of lost or robbery, no corporate data has been lost. Because without the encryption key, the folder is useless to the possesor of the laptop.
A program like this one improves the employee satisfaction that leads to increase their productivity and efficiency.
And as a personal opinion, I do thing is quite a great incentive for companies to give a device to their employees, or to subsidized the purchase of a device of their choise. Who wouldn´t like to get an Iphone for example at work? I thing nobody!