Is the smartphone workforce a threat to your business?

This opinion piece examines the link between smartphone usage at work and employee productivity, and what can be done to cut out inefficiencies|This opinion piece examines the link between smartphone usage at work and employee productivity, and what can be done to cut out inefficiencies

This opinion piece examines the link between smartphone usage at work and employee productivity, and what can be done to cut out inefficiencies

As an employer, you probably just want one thing – growth and prosperity of your business. That of course is easier said than done.

You can invest as much money, time, and effort into your business as you want, but realistically speaking, you shouldn’t expect it to take off, let alone grow, unless your employees are making their due contribution by putting in their 100 percent effort at work. Although getting them to do that was always a bit of a challenge, the arrival of smartphones into the workplace has escalated the problem to a whole new level.Transgressions like excessive employee texting, lengthy chatting sessions, video streaming, and even data leakage are becoming increasingly common in the modern workplace. With all sorts of distractions, and perhaps threats, just a tap away from your employees, your business interests find themselves more vulnerable than ever. It doesn’t have to be that way though. In fact, you can easily mitigate the threats posed to your business and its success by the growing prevalence of smartphones in the workplace through the help of cell phone monitoring apps.

Workplace texting: a direct impact on productivity

Ever wondered why surveillance tools like text message spy apps are gaining traction in the business world? To understand that, you must first understand the link between workplace texting and employee productivity. Texting during work hours is inversely proportional to employee productivity. The more time employees spend on socialising with their friends and families, the greater is the chance of them ignoring their work duties. There is no point in expecting them to perform well and deliver results when they aren’t giving enough time and attention to what they have been hired to do. You can try talking to your employees and warning them against excessive texting, but that is unlikely to make a huge impact. They’ll just be careful not to get caught.

To effectively deal with the problem, it would be a good idea to invest in SMS monitoring apps. By installing them on all smartphones in the workplace after including them in the cell phone policy, you can keep an eye on all inbound and outbound text messages of your employees during work hours. This helps your business in two ways. Firstly, employees are likely to feel uncomfortable talking to anyone with you watching their conversations closely, and therefore text only when absolutely necessary. Secondly, it helps you keep an eye on your employees’ interaction with clients, thus allowing you to identify and address problem areas. This in turn can help you improve customer services and build a stronger relation with clients.

Smartphone cameras and workplace harassment

A number of employees, majority of whom are females, have complained about colleagues secretly taking their picture or recording their videos to later show it around or put it online anonymously. This is at times followed up by blackmail, with the perpetrator demanding money or personal favour in exchange for removing those pictures or videos. With almost everyone having access to a camera round the clock nowadays, courtesy of smartphone, the chances of such an incident happening has grown a lot.

You can prevent such a thing from happening in your workplace with the help of monitoring apps. With the help of such an app, you can keep tabs on all pictures and videos stored on the target device. This is likely to discourage creepy employees from secretly taking pictures or recording videos of their colleagues, and if they still do that, you can easily catch them and take necessary action, like immediately firing them and reporting them to the police for instance.

Emails, chat apps, and data leakage

Workplace security is only as strong as its weakest link, and in most cases that is your employees. With smartphones giving them access to various communication channels such as email, Skype, WhatsApp, SMS, etc., they pose a huge risk to your business in terms of data leakage. It has gotten easier than ever for them to stab you in the back by siphoning sensitive data out of the premises to an interested buyer, mostly a competitor.

In order to mitigate such a risk, you have no option but to deploy a monitoring app. With its help, you can keep an eye on your employees’ emails and digital interactions. The deployment of such a tool may alone be sufficient to reduce the probability of data getting leaked, but if some employee underestimate the security measure in place and engage in crooked activities, then you’ll have no trouble detecting and confronting them with evidence.

Keeping tabs on your employees’ smartphone usage at work, especially their text messages, emails, pictures, videos, and chats, does indeed have many benefits, but it requires careful planning, communication, and implementation. Do not just rush in expecting results with taking the potential consequences into consideration. Always be mindful of the fact that privacy is held sacred by most people, and that they will most likely to put up a strong fight to keep it from getting violated.

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for from 2016 to 2018.

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