Employees who bring their own smartphones and tablets to work have different ideas about what type of corporate data should be available on their personal devices, and how the company ought to secure those devices. No two companies are alike, so there isn't a template for creating a mobile policy. But there are several components of any successful mobile program — and it starts by treating employees like customers, argues Mani Zarrehparvar, president of Visage Mobile.
Companies that are creating a mobile policy for the first time — or those that are reshaping a current policy— should think about the business objectives and consider employees' role, according to Zarrehparvar. "Companies have to think about mobility as something that satisfies their most important constituents, which are their employees,” he says.
Zarrehparvar shares three insights for shaping mobile policies around employees’ needs in the workplace:
One Policy Doesn’t Fit All
A sales person who spends the majority of the week on the road and on the phone is going to need a different policy than an engineer who doesn’t travel or use his phone as much. “If you find yourself with one ubiquitous policy, you’re probably making a mistake," says Zarrehparvar.
Security Rules Limit Productivity
When a company’s main focus is security, the mobile policy restricts employees from accessing information and performing certain tasks. “Once, before an important business meeting with Facebook, I wanted to look on the website to see who the company’s corporate leaders were, but I couldn’t because Facebook.com was blocked,” says Zarrehparvar, referring to the mobile policy at his previous company. “These examples show the importance of thinking about, ‘What do I want to enable my employees to do? How do I want to treat my people?’"
Mobile Policy Revolves Around Productivity
So, what's the best way to take employees into account when creating a mobile policy? Focus on productivity instead of cost. “Companies that are mainly cost-managed will often give employees stipends and only pay for certain things,” notes Zarrehparvar. “Employees are then in the position of making personal financial versus work productivity decisions on a daily basis, and that’s a bad place to be in.”
[Image via Can Stock Photo]
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