Many companies provide their employees with cell phones for their jobs. It’s a great way to stay connected both in and out of the office. However, is a company cell phone a smart idea to use on your time? Should you make calls to friends and family on the company’s dime? Here are some things to consider if you’re using a company-owned cellular phone.

Monitoring

One of the biggest downsides to using a company-owned cell phone is that your workplace can monitor your calling trends. Your bosses can pull a report and look at who you are calling and how long you are talking. These plans are probably unlimited, but it still allows your superiors a chance to monitor you. They can use your phone records to pin your location and to see if you were really at the doctor’s office when you called off sick.

A downside to having a company phone is that your employer can charge you if you drop, break, or lose the device. Additionally, your privacy may be breached. Since your bosses can put tracking devices on these phones, they can pull up your location at any time day or night. Also, they may use your phone history to prove you’re not doing your job. You open the door for much scrutiny when your phone records go to corporate each month.

Communication

One of the biggest benefits of having a company cell phone is that your employer is paying the bill. While cell phone bills have drastically decreased in the past few years, they still are a necessary expense. Another advantage is that an employer can easily get ahold of staff. Compared to other communication methods, texting tends to get people’s attention quickly. Having a phone enhances communication and being able to locate an employee. You can use texting rather than calling, and the company can send out a group text to everyone at once.

Establishing Personal Use Guidelines

Before taking on a company cell phone, a business should establish guidelines for personal use. One of the benefits of having these phones is not using personal expenses to pay for company needs. However, since most people don’t want to have two phones, having guidelines can solve many issues.

In general, having a company cell phone is not a bad thing. You can easily connect with your coworkers and get a hold of the office on their dime. Companies regularly upgrade phones, which is another expense you won’t incur. Consequently, you must monitor your personal use and make sure that you fall within any established guidelines to avoid trouble.

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