Pros & Cons of Providing Company Smartphones

Company Phone
Photo credit Halfpoint/Getty Images
By , Small Business Pulse

Company smartphones are not just for big corporations. Even small businesses can reap benefits from giving their employees phones. However, this practice may not be for every small business. Evaluating the pros and cons can help you make a more informed decision on whether to invest in company smartphones.

Several benefits exist for providing company-provided smartphones. Depending on how your business operates, these may apply to your company. Even if you identify with only one benefit, it may still outweigh the drawbacks.

If your company requires employees to use a specific app for work, numerous technical issues could be avoided if everyone is using the same phone. Your technical support crew will be able to quickly fix problems that will apply to every employee's phone. This reduces lost productivity time that could be blamed on outdated personal phones.

Company-provided smartphones can also give you control to keep your business information secure. If a phone gets lost, you can shut it down from anywhere. Although a necessary measure, some employees may not be securing their phones when using a personal one.

If your business has a cell phone allowance for employees, be sure to evaluate how much money it's costing. By switching to a business plan for company-provided phones, you could save money over time. Providing cell phones also allows you to constantly connect with your employees if necessary. You won't have employees giving the excuse of not being available because he or she doesn't have a cell phone. All employees will also have the correct phone to access any apps your business may use.

While company-provided cell phones have several benefits, the downsides become especially important for smaller businesses. If your business is still in its startup phase, it may be too soon to embrace the practice of giving everyone smartphones.

If you currently don't provide your employees with a cell phone allowance, you won't save money by giving your employees phones. In fact, if you still have tight profit margins, you could find your business in the red by doing this, negating the benefits.

While it's no secret that small business owners often work far more than the standard 40-hours a week, employees expect more standardized hours. If you give your employees smartphones, you're asking them to possibly work beyond their scheduled hours. This could run into employees incurring overtime, which you would be required to pay in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act. This law does not require overtime pay for work on nights and weekends that does not exceed 40 hours for the week. Keep this in mind if asking employees to use their smartphones outside of business hours.

Smartphones can have many benefits to small businesses. However, providing your employees with phones could cause more harm than good if your company is still new. Decide if company smartphones are right for your business based on your finances and employees' cell phone use at work.