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Photo of Michelle Cohen Levy

Should you offer key employees company phones?

On Behalf of | May 3, 2021 | Firm News |

You’re starting your own business, and one of the points you want to note in the contract is the use of company property. Everything from a company truck to an expense account credit card should be included, but there is one sticking point of which you’re unsure whether to include.

Should you offer employees a company phone to use for their business calls? Since everybody has their own cellphones these days, do you really need to? As usual, there are pros and cons for doing so, so first let’s examine the positives.

Everyone is on the same network

We’ve all had those, “Can you hear me now?” moments as we gyrate in our chair or move frantically around trying to catch a cell tower signal. When each employee is linked to the same phone network, it could cut down on those moments significantly.

Instant access when you need it

Even employees who are not typically “on-call” could be expected to man their posts in an emergency. It will be a lot harder for someone to claim they had their company cellphone off or out of reach during an emergency than it would be for them to say the same for their personal device.

Now let’s examine the cons of providing cellphones to key employees.

Employees are saddled with an extra device

It can be challenging enough to keep up with one cellphone, let alone two. Employees may resent having to take both devices with them at all times to make sure they stay in the loop and don’t miss that all-important client call.

Upgrade costs can be expensive

If you want to remain competitive within your industry, your phone systems and models should not be outdated. It can be a considerable expense to ensure that your top employees all have devices that reflect the latest technological capabilities. Depending on the number of employees provided with company phones, it could be cheaper to reimburse employees a stipend for upgrading their own cellphone systems.

If you choose to provide your employees with their own company cellphones, make sure this is included in your employment contracts and that your employee manual addresses employee cellphone usage and returns — just the way you would with other electronics the company provides.