Smartphones In The Workplace: Good Or Bad?
Smartphones are amazing devices.
They allow us to use amazing applications, which developers have spent a lot of time coding and developing to make our lives better. We no longer have to use multiple key presses to type, and our dependence on keypads is long gone.
Connecting our phones to the Internet needs a WiFi service and a good connection, which allows us to access the Internet even when our regular Internet service is down. It also allows us to take advantage of unique features in a smartphone that you wouldn’t normally see in a laptop or a desktop.
Smart devices can also be connected to our smartphone, allowing us to run our homes from the comfort of a single device.
It’s also good that smartphones are good for things such as playing videos, listening to music and the fundamental ability to call and text an individual.
Using your phone in the workplace, however, is a different story.
A lot of technology manufacturers love to emphasize that their technology is good for the business world, and they’re not wrong. But sometimes, what is promised to you and what actually happens can be quite different.
There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that technology is good for the business world. The question then is not how good it is, but is it being used correctly?
Smartphones are so dominant in our everyday lives that it’s tempting to use your phone for work and “stay updated”. Even though that’s possible, is that a good thing? Let’s take a look.
You Can Monitor Email At All Times
Your email is one of the most important things in your life, as that is where you receive mail, send mail and engage in correspondence when necessary.
Most people have their own personal email and an email that they use at work. These will often remain separate, though some people can choose to put them together.
Being able to access email from anywhere is great, and is something that is most easily accomplished with your smartphone. All you need to do is successfully connect your account with your phone, and you can access your email just as if you were on a computer.
This is great when you are traveling for business, as you may not have access to your laptop or computer, and it may be difficult (or even inconvenient) to bring a lot of technology with you.
While you can’t do everything a computer can do on a phone, your smartphone will be enough for the task of looking at and replying to emails.
Convenience is great, but is it really beneficial?
It is easy to believe that you have the work situation under control because you can check your mail from anywhere. The downside of that is that you can often mix your work and personal life together because your emails are easily accessible.
What starts off as “I’ll just make sure everything is okay” can easily turn into “I have this crisis that I have to solve now or everything will be terrible.”
There might not even be a real crisis to solve, and you might just think “Because I’m doing work, I have to continue doing work.” A lack of separation between work and life can result in stress and a lack of motivation, as it doesn’t seem like you can ever escape work.
Checking email is often a positive, but the potential downside of blurring the line between work and personal lives can be a risk people may not want to take.
Phones Can Be Compatible With Software
Smartphones have different operating systems. Almost everyone is familiar with iOS, which is Apple’s operating system on a smartphone, while Android exists on Samsung phones and almost any phone which isn’t Apple’s.
If your smartphone uses the same operating software as your computer, you will be able to access some software/apps that your computer uses.
For example, Microsoft phones are able to run Microsoft’s business software, such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This allows for people to access information just as if they were on a normal computer using Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
This prevents employees from having to bring around heavy laptops and can still conduct business with their phones. This isn’t possible on phones that aren’t built to handle the software. You couldn’t use Microsoft Dynamics CRM on an Android phone, for example.
You can pull up relevant details to your work without compromising the quality of what you already have. It will require that you have a phone that can be configured for work though, so do keep that in mind before you start to jump on all of your smart devices.
It also makes it even harder to separate your personal and work lives, because having access to your business software makes it easier for you think about work all the time.
You Can Get Security For Your Phone
You might have heard a lot about Internet security and how it is very important for computers to protect themselves against threats.
Using your phone for office work will make you realize that these threats aren’t just open to computers. With phones able to access the Internet as well, you can expect that some people are trying to target your phones there as well.
If you do plan on using your phone for work, expect your IT department to give you a security briefing on what you need to do to protect your phone, what should and shouldn’t be doing, as well as what you need to keep in mind if your phone is ever compromised.
You won’t actually think about this too much if you only had a personal phone. Most of the security advice you get with a work phone is transferable to any phone. The only exceptions will be software specific.
Using your phone for work can really make you think about security more, which is what every responsible employee should be thinking about with regards to using any device in the workplace.
Of course, should you unfortunately fall victim to a security breach, your phone will still be compromised, but you will know how to manage the situation better, as well as learn how you can identify the signs of an attack.
However, if you are using your phone for both your personal and work purposes, you may find that even a single attack from a hacker can compromise a lot more than just your work information, and this can spread to people who did not need to be involved in the first place.
Phones At Work Are Good, But Have Risks
Smartphones, like technology, have greatly changed how we do things in our working lives. For the most part, what companies like Microsoft are telling you is true. Mobile phones have a place in the working world and they are here to stay.
That being said, there are risks that you take when you starting using phones at work. You risk blurring the lines between your personal life and your work, which can cause a lot of stress in your life as you feel that you can never escape your work.
You can also put a lot more than just work details at risk if your phone is ever compromised by a hacker or if it gets stolen. There will be a lot of work that goes into fixing all the problems, which can sometimes be a bigger problem than it should be.
But if you can manage the risks well, the phone can be a powerful tool that you can keep on you and bring with you wherever you go.
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