The Role of Mobile Phones in Business

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Ways to use mobile phones in business & precautions to take

Posted: April 5, 2023

April 3rd marked the 50th anniversary of a momentous phone call. In 1973, Motorola engineer Martin Cooper was standing in a street of New York when he made the first ever call on a true mobile phone, calling his chief rival at Bell Labs, Joel Engel, presumably to gloat.

Since then mobile devices have gradually become an integral part of the modern workspace. With remote working options growing steadily, there has been a major shift to the use of technology in all industries and smartphones have become a vital aspect of the new-normal work culture. Today, mobile phones are ubiquitous, with over 5.4 billion people worldwide having at least one mobile subscription, according to GSMA. In fact, there are now more mobile subscriptions than people on the planet, as the former overtook the latter in 2016.

As businesses adapt to the growing technology of smartphones, there will come challenges. This article outlines the ways to use mobile phones in your business and the precautions to take.

Ways to Use Smartphones in Your Business

Smartphones can be the most potent tool for business growth and expansion by providing better customer service, team collaboration, flexibility, and productivity.

  • These days, most business-grade telephone systems have the capability to use accompanying mobile apps, and computer-based software. These options serve as an extension of your physical phone system providing flexibility and enhancing customer service. Employees are able to answer calls and return calls through the safehold of the business phone system without providing clients with their personal contact information.
  • Texting through a business platform is also available. This allows the business to text using a main company number and has the management capability to ensure all messaging is replied to in accordance with business policies.
  • Smartphones can also be used to access work email. With assistance from your IT Partner, employees can utilize an email platform (ie. Outlook) to check and reply to their work emails. This creates seamless collaboration and flexibility to work anywhere as needed.
  • Countless other applications are available to be used on mobile devices. These include but are not limited to applications for internal messaging (ie. Slack), video meetings (ie. Zoom, Teams), and marketing (ie. posts, stories, reels). These applications create a working environment that can keep your team connected with their teammates, clients, and community.

Given there are more mobile devices than persons, they can be leveraged to help businesses grow. However, as with anything, there are precautions to take before integrating smartphones into your business environment.

Precautions Using Smartphones in Business

The first precaution to take is work-life balance. All of the ways to use smartphones in your business listed above can easily overstep the balance of work and personal life. Encouraging (or expecting) employees to use their mobile devices for work and flexibility removes the “office hours” because they are now reachable at any time of the day.

CommWest Tip: Clearly define expectations with employees so they know when to check email, answer their mobile app, or check internal messaging. Employees should also utilize schedule settings within the application and their mobile devices themselves. This balances the “office hours” principle within your team.

The second precaution is regarding the management of mobile devices. Will you provide mobile devices to your employees? If so, what is your policy for the personal use of the said device? If you are not providing mobile devices, what are your expectations for employees using their personal devices? Whichever your business decides, you need to consider costs, security, and oversight. This is where your IT Partner will provide suggestions for onboarding, offboarding, policies, and more.

The third precaution correlates to the management of mobile devices – security.  Your business has (or should) taken measures to layer its cybersecurity. If your business utilizes smartphones, there are additional security layers that need to be addressed with your IT Partner.

CommWest Tip – Consider the Following: 

  • What access will an employee have on their cell phone?
  • What business information will be stored on their cell phone?
  • Who/how is access removed when offboarding an employee?
  • What two-factor authentication is linked to the cell phone?

The fourth precaution is using non-business tools for business purposes. Not all mobile applications are intended or designed for use in a business. By relying on a non-business tool, you will ultimately be creating policy, security, and management frustrations.

CommWest Tip: Support should always be considered when choosing a tool for your business. Using a product that only comes with 1-800 support will create more work and less productivity in the long run. There may be times support is less relevant, but for the products integral to your business operations confirm what support is available or included.

The fifth and final precaution is complexity. Don’t make your life harder by overcomplicating the integration of mobile into your business. Just because there is “an app for everything” doesn’t mean your business should use them all.

CommWest Tip: Before adding a business tool to your smartphone, define the need being met. Then outline the corresponding policy, costs, and security measures.

It’s been 50 years since the first ever true call on a mobile phone was made. How do you plan to use them in your business over the next 50? Contact our team today to get started. 

Additional Reading >> Retire Your Old Phone System

Additional Reading >> Keeping Business and Work Email Separate

Additional Reading >> VoIP Phone Solutions

One Call. One Team. One Goal – Helping Your Business Grow



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