Smartphones have become a valuable tool for the workplace. They’ve made everything from communication to productivity possible anywhere a data and voice signal exists, and almost everyone seems to have a smartphone due to the low threshold of ownership. By giving their employees freedom to do their work remotely, employers can offer new phones as an employee benefit, giving workers the ability to stay connected to the office even when they’re out of the office. Explore some of the ways a smartphone can improve employee retention.

Offer a New Smartphone As an Employee Benefit

Image via Flickr by harry-m

Having a smartphone as an employee incentive may seem strange, especially when many employees have personal phones already. But not everyone can afford a new phone. Here’s an opportunity for an employer to offer employees a reward when a raise isn’t possible or the employee’s performance deserves some type of reward.

Purchasing smartphones and data plans from a reliable provider such as T-Mobile costs less than giving employees raises paid out over time. And with provider networks like T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network coverage, for example, businesses can help their employees stay connected with the office during business travel without having them use their personal phones to do so.

Give Permission to Take a Smartphone Break

Working on the same task for an extended length of time can quickly turn into mental fatigue. Taking a short break from the task has the effect of refreshing the mind, changing focus, and increasing productivity.

One of the ways people can take a break is to play a game on their smartphones for a few minutes. However, others in the office could view playing a game as slacking, even if the playing time is short. Making an official policy to allow people to play a game when they’re stressed will stop criticism and keep the office pleasant along with increasing work quality.

Help Employees Maintain a Work-Life Balance

Life creates a demand on employees that they simply can’t ignore. And those demands can often take them out of the office, sometimes at important moments. While good employees don’t like the feeling that they’re leaving their work unfinished, they still have to take care of personal life situations. One solution could be to offer them a work laptop, but they may not always be able to bring a laptop everywhere they go. Smartphones, however, offer an alternative.

Being able to access office servers while away from their desks lets employees stay connected with their duties and projects. They can share files with others, make sure projects are on target, and pick up their work again quickly when they’re back in the office. What they don’t have to do is becomes stressed about taking care of work and life events at the same time.

Create a Bring-Your-Own-Device Policy

Employees don’t always like the idea of using two smartphones, one for business use and one for personal use. A bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy gets around this objection by using software to create a work profile on a personal phone. The profile separates business functions from personal uses of the phone in a simple yet effective setup. With this arrangement, your company’s IT staff will be unable to delete personal files from the devices, and the employees will be unable to use business software on their personal profiles. This compromise lets employees use their personal phones for work without the concern that their employer is going to pry and find personal information on their phones.

The methods mentioned above allow employers to use smartphones as an employee retention method. At the heart of this idea is the fact that employees are taking a different approach to their work-life balance. While their work obligations remain important to them, their ability to enjoy life outside of the office is becoming more important. Smartphones and reasonable policies for their use are one way to make a workplace attractive to those who want to use technology to help them in their work but don’t want it to isolate them from their personal lives.

By Kar

Dr. Kar works in the interface of digital transformation and data science. Professionally a professor in one of the top B-Schools of Asia and an alumni of XLRI, he has extensive experience in teaching, training, consultancy and research in reputed institutes. He is a regular contributor of Business Fundas and a frequent author in research platforms. He is widely cited as a researcher. Note: The articles authored in this blog are his personal views and does not reflect that of his affiliations.

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