The days of employees commuting to an office are already a distant memory for millions of American workers. But this restructuring and reimagining of where employees work poses some serious challenges for even the most accommodating employer. One of the biggest involves technology, particularly the use of mobile devices. When employees who work remotely make calls, what device are they most likely to use? It’s going to be the one that is most comfortable and easy to use: their personal cell phone.
The use of personal devices in a business context presents three key challenges to employers, who need to create Bring Your Own Device solutions that foster adoption and protect important company information. Those challenges are:
1. Protection of company data remains secure. Customers are currency, and businesses need to protect those customer relationships. But when employees are speaking to customers on their personal cell phones, the business loses control of the customer relationships being built. What happens if an employee leaves the company? Customers could easily leave with them. The right app can allow employees to have single-number reach, meaning employees are available no matter where they are via a single business phone number. This allows the business to make sure all calls are being routed through the company phone system and thus offering the ability to monitor and track customer interactions. The employee gets the flexibility to use a personal device, and the company gets to keep control of customer data.
2. Employers need access to employees on the go. The best companies thrive on good communication between employees. But when some workers alternate between their desks and being in the field, it can be problematic to connect. Having just one phone number to call that will always reach a co-worker is essential. Plus, it’s convenient for the employee to have just one number to give customers. The key is accessibility to employees as they leverage a work from anywhere approach.
3. Employers must be able to track and measure customer interactions. If employees use their personal phones to make business calls, the employer has no way to track those calls or even make a record that the calls took place. And for businesses that rely on billable hours, not being able to track the time employees are on the phone is lost revenue. In many cases supervisors must be able to monitor or record calls to assess performance and general customer satisfaction. Extending the business application to the mobile phone offers businesses the opportunity to monitor the customer experience and offers a single face to the customer.
A survey by the market research company Gartner found that about 40 percent of American employees at large enterprises reported using their personal phones for work. This number is not likely to decline, given that so many people store business contacts and schedules on their personal phones. That’s why it’s so important to address employees’ desire for flexibility while protecting the business’ need for integrity.
For more on the importance of a identifying a BYOD solution that will be adopted by employees, download our ebook, Reimagining the Workplace.