5 Ways Cell Phones Are Hurting Your Business

5 Ways Cell Phones Are Hurting Your Business

Discover ways your cell phone is hurting your business such as imposing security vulnerabilities and decreasing professionalism.

5 Ways Cell Phones Are Hurting Your Business

Table of Content

    Several of our Microsoft Teams clients have expressed dismay that their users, both remote and in the office, are using their cell phones to communicate with clients, vendors, and colleagues. This presents a host of security, record-keeping, and work/life balance issues. Clients should consider using Teams as their business phone system instead. They’re likely already using the chat and meetings functionality of Teams, but Velosio can help implement the modern, full featured phone capabilities of Microsoft Teams to ensure all employees have a dedicated work phone number on the easy-to-use Teams interface.

    From security vulnerabilities to lost productivity, below we discuss common downsides of personal smartphones used for business communications.

    5 Reasons Personal Cell Phone Use is Harming Your Business (And Your Employees)

    Several of our Microsoft Teams clients have expressed dismay that their users, both remote and in the office, are using their cell phones to communicate with clients, vendors, and colleagues. This presents a host of security, record-keeping, and work/life balance issues. Clients should consider using Teams as their business phone system instead. They’re likely already using the chat and meetings functionality of Teams, but Velosio can help implement the modern, full featured phone capabilities of Microsoft Teams to ensure all employees have a dedicated work phone number on the easy-to-use Teams interface.

    From security vulnerabilities to lost productivity, below we discuss common downsides of personal smartphones used for business communications.

    1.     Lost Productivity

    Hand Holding Cell Phone In Front of Laptop

    One of the key features of any business phone system is call flow routing. While it can be slightly tedious to listen to “Press 1 for Sales…” menus like this ensure that the right members of your team receive the right kind of phone calls.

    If you are relying on users to self-manage their incoming calls and voicemails from clients, then you’ve undoubtedly seen cases of missed calls due to vacation, sick leave, or simply a full voicemail box on your employee’s personal phones.

    A true business voice would enable the call flow menus you need, automatically route calls away from employees who are out or busy with other meetings and deliver voicemail recordings and transcriptions to either individual users or groups.

    2.    Decrease Professionalism

    Woman Using Typewriter

    Most of us probably remember our home phone number we had growing up. How many of us remember our friends and family’s cell phone numbers, though? Probably not nearly as many. Giving out personal cell phone numbers to business contacts is a recipe for confusion when cell phone numbers change, or a certain client or vendor starts to abuse the privilege and text you on the weekend about a business matter.

    Moving to a true business-class phone system means you can give a local area code or toll-free number to your clients and vendors and allow your organization to start separating work and personal calls. You can route calls through your main menu or give each of your employees a dedicated work phone number that will ring on the Teams app on their computer and their cell phone and allow them to make outgoing calls with your organizations Caller ID as well.

    3.    Lack of Visibility into Usage and Costs

    Man Typing on iPad in Front of Group of People

    We’ve touched a bit on the murky business vs. personal issue of using personal devices for business purposes, but there’s some hard data you’ll miss out on as well. There’s likely to be no reporting capability your managers can pull to see how employees are handling incoming and outgoing calls. Do you know how many local or international minutes are being used? How about how often calls are going unanswered? Without a true business-class phone system, you’re left to guessing and assuming that communications are handled efficiently.

    Teams Phone has simple licensing that is purchased and applied the same way you apply other Microsoft 365 licensing to your users. For a flat rate, your users are enabled for the Teams Phone system and have a generous monthly allotment of minutes to use for incoming and outgoing calls. It’s much simpler to track and forecast a business-class phone system rather than multiple cell phone plans from different carriers.

    Decades ago, implementing a new phone system meant buying dozens of expensive desktop phones for your users, however modern business phone systems can also run on simple, affordable desktop headsets or even free apps on your users’ existing cell phones. We’re seeing plenty of organizations skip the buying of new handsets altogether because of these options.

    4.    Security Vulnerabilities

    Padlock Showing Numbers

    If you’ve ever lost your cell phone, you know what a sinking feeling it is to think that some unscrupulous individual has found and opened it. Imagine if that happened to one of your employees who had text messages and voicemails from your clients or vendors saved on their personal device. Or, if your employee lends their cell phone to their partner or child, those messages and contacts could be read or accidentally deleted.

    Unless you’re currently managing your staff’s personal devices via InTune or a similar solution, you have no idea if their devices have strong password protection, are receiving and installing the latest operating system updates, or have strong records of who they are calling and texting for business purposes.

    5.    Work/Life Imbalance

    Two Men Roasting Food at a Campfire

    According to a 2019 study from Forbes, 28% of workers start their day before 8:30 AM and a similar percentage take their work home with them to continue working outside of business hours. You may think “that’s normal, what’s the big deal” but Deloitte reports that 84% of millennials and 77% of all respondents’ report burnout at their current job, with over half reporting multiple occurrences. Given the cost of finding new staff vs. retaining current employees in today’s labor market, it’s worth exploring the possible source of this unhealthy work-life balance.

    It’s certainly convenient to be able to check an important email or get in touch with a high-profile client after-hours, but consistent use of personal devices for business usage outside of business hours leads to a blurring of the lines between personal and professional time, and a sense that work “never really stops.” If your employees are constantly checking their phones outside of office hours, the statistics say they probably aren’t enjoying it, and could start considering a new position with less demands on their personal life.

    A business phone system should be just that as the name suggests, something that employees utilize in the office, or during office hours, for professional communications only. That provides a clear context switch for your staff so they know how they should communicate when they are on the clock and can “switch off” and use their personal device for family and friends before and after work.

    Turning Phones from a Liability into an Asset

    It’s clear that there are substantial risks and downsides to unregulated employee usage of personal cell phones for business communications, however there are solutions to resolve that issue quickly and efficiently. The first step is talking to your staff about how they communicate with clients, colleagues, and vendors, and determining if it’s mostly chat, email, or voice. Then, you can start to examine solutions that address one or all those avenues and have conversation about how that will change the daily patterns of device usage for your employees.

    There are dozens of unified and more narrowly focused solutions that business could select for their communication platform. You might choose to simply prohibit employees from using personal phones for business calling or implement a new application or forwarding option for calls based on criteria like business hours or priority.

    Microsoft Teams is our preferred solution at Velosio for addressing this challenge. Teams combines a chat, meeting, file collaboration, and an optional PSTN phone system into one desktop and mobile application. If you are interested in Microsoft Teams, or already use it but want to expand its functionality to address some of these topics discussed above, then give us a ring (maybe not on your cell phone) and we’ll be happy to talk through your options.

    [class^="wpforms-"]
    [class^="wpforms-"]
    [class^="wpforms-"]
    [class^="wpforms-"]
    [class^="wpforms-"]
    [class^="wpforms-"]
    X