In today’s world, it’s almost impossible to curb the busyness of business. Even when working for a company that has the best work-life balance policy, for many dedicated people, work is a big part of life. And, with the average person spending over four hours a day on their mobile device, mobile devices have become a big part of life too.
Nowadays, companies providing mobile devices to their team has become a common practice. However, data can be expensive. Even seemingly ‘unlimited’ mobile data plans can have small-print in the contract that limits heavy usage. Just like any work tool provided by an employer, business devices need to be properly monitored and managed to ensure that data usage remains under the set limit each month – which can be a challenging thing to do. Educating your team about data usage on business mobile devices could mean the difference between coming in under budget or contributing to high and unnecessary costs each month.
Tips to Share with Your Team
Providing your team with mobile devices can come with many benefits. Though, if not managed properly, your company’s allotted data usage can quickly grow out of control and exceed your monthly limit. Here are several tips to help you implement the right policies to manage business mobile device data use and ensure you stay on budget.
Cover the Basics: Educate your team on the basics of phone data and encourage them to champion the management of their data use each month.
Turn off data roaming found under settings on your iPhone or Android, especially when travelling for business.
Turn off cellular data usage for iCloud so that iCloud will not use data to transfer documents or other things.View the mobile versions of sites rather than the desktop versions which use more data.Background data is one of the biggest data drains. Support your team in restricting their background data by showing them how to limit it, such as turning off automatic app updates.Encourage each employee to also set data limits and alerts (found under ‘Settings’ on their iPhone or Android, or also within the apps for their service provider) will also help them keep track of their own usage and alert them when they are nearing the end of their data each month.
Always Use (Safe) Wi-Fi: Motivate your staff to restrict the use of data by using Wi-Fi whenever possible. Turn off Wi-Fi assist to ensure that your phone does not begin to use data should the Wi-Fi speed be slow.
Public Wi-Fi networks can pose security threats, so be sure to conduct training with your staff on how to identify unsafe networks (you can find more information on this in an article written by TWT’s CEO, Shawn Freeman, on the 5 Biggest Cybersecurity Threats Targeting Your Small Business Right Now). Also, when it comes to your business’ Wi-Fi network, assure it is secure by implementing the right hardware and continually updating it.
Limit App Downloads: According to Syntonic, almost 89% of companies rely on their employees to use their devices to access business apps. However, some apps can consume large amounts of expensive data, including video streaming apps such as YouTube, Netflix and Vimeo as well as gaming and music apps. In addition to this, social media apps have the potential to be huge data-suckers. Limit the apps that people can download on business-specific mobile devices. Also, for the apps that your business does allow, ensure your employees disable data use on certain apps, especially the ones that use significant data such as social media apps. Look under Cellular on your iPhone or Android and disable each app one-by-one.
Implement BYOD Policies: The trend of infusing Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD, policies in the workplace is gaining significant traction across North America – and is a strategy we encourage forward-thinking organizations to look into. According to research conducted by Tech Pro, 59% of organizations allow employees to use their own devices for work purposes. In improving employee satisfaction, BYOD device policies are proven to save workers time, with corporations like Frost & Sullivan providing evidence that using personal devices for work activities actually saves employees an average of 58 minutes a day (a 34% increase in productivity). BYOD device policies also offer cost benefits for employers. A Cisco report found that companies with BYOD policies in place save on average $350 per year, per employee. For small to mid-sized organizations, that’s huge cost savings that can directly impact your bottom line. It’s important to note that BYOD plans do come with increased security concerns, so be sure to work with a reliable IT provider and ensure you have the right network infrastructure in place.
The Right Systems Can Help Too
When it comes to providing company mobile devices and paying for your employee’s data, there are also systems that can help you manage usage and see where staff members are using up the most data. For example, HPCI – a Calgary-based telecom management company that specializes in renegotiating and managing corporate telecommunications accounts – offers managed telecom software and services that give businesses the ability to view spending trends/allocations and show big-data analytics to help monitor and manage the data usage of multiple mobile devices.
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