Mobile phones are as commonplace as a watch these days (and in some cases more so). With everyone having a mobile device, employees expect to be able to bring them into the workplace. However, their security can be weak and depending on the work location, some can even be a safety concern. If you are wondering whether or not your workplace should have a ban on mobile phones for security purposes, then read on for an overview of their risks.
There are a number of jobs or locations in particular within the energy sector where mobile phone use should be limited due to fire hazards or other safety concerns. It is important to evaluate whether the use of mobile technology within a particular situation would be an unnecessary risk to employee and citizen health and safety before allowing these devices within the workspace. If they are permitted, they should be listed and approved by an outside authority as certain models pose a higher risk in these situations than others.
A more recent concern is that of security risks associated with mobile phone use on work sites. The security for most phones is appalling, with many devices infected with spyware, viruses, and other security risks. If your company is concerned with the security risks of allowing employee access to mobile devices on the job, then it is likely a good idea to either implement an in-depth mobile phone use policy or outright ban of devices for certain positions and workspaces.
An additional concern many employers have is the distraction that they cause employees. While some companies have taken a hard line and banned devices outright, it can be a difficult balance between showing trust and acceptance of your employees and managing their device use. Before banning devices on their merits of distraction, consider evaluating individual use on a case-by-case basis. If, for example, a position requires absolutely no distraction (such as driving or operating machinery) then banning the use of mobile phones on the job is reasonable.
On the other hand, if you don’t want to fall prey to the employee image of a micromanager, it might be best to allow mobile use in the case of family emergencies, etc. A more balanced approach to managing distraction can involve evaluating employee usage over time, or even providing mobile devices for work use. You don’t want to damage employee morale by restricting their personal usage any more than is practical. Setting reasonable limits and having an actionable mobile device policy that is in place and communicated clearly will help your staff maintain focus and etiquette when it comes to using their mobile devices. It all comes down to common sense in the end.
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