Your policy and procedure essentials for mobile devices at work
With so many people working from home these days, mobile devices for work are the norm. So have you got mobile devices covered in your policies and procedures?
The challenge for your policy and procedure in this area is to enable your organisation to reap the benefits of mobile devices while reducing the risks.
Benefits of mobile device use for work purposes include:
- flexibility for staff – they can work anywhere, anytime
- improved capacity to deliver more responsive services with support, learning – you name it – able to be delivered to clients/customers in diverse locations
- efficiency and quality gains with staff enabled to access and comply with organisational policies and procedures and other systems when and where they need to.
But there are sizeable risks with mobile device use at work. These include data risks, risks of inappropriate use, confusion about liability when things go wrong and that mobile devices bring work home.
Policy and procedure tips
To reap the benefits and address the risks of mobile devices in the workplace, here are some areas to address in your policy and procedure.
Resourcing & liability
An organisation may issue staff with mobile devices or allow staff to work on their personal devices.
Your policy and procedure might address either or both situations. It’s a good idea to outline ownership responsibilities and liability in situations of theft, damage, and loss, who pays for usage (eg calls, data), and where, when, and how remote devices will be checked, inspected, returned, repaired, and updated.
What are the rules of engagement – the “acceptable” and “unacceptable” uses of the device.
This needs to be clearly outlined in your policies and procedures even when staff use their own devices for work purposes.
At a minimum, compliance with the law (eg the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015), your organisational values and other policies and procedures should be required.
Interaction with organisational systems
Ideally, staff will be enabled to access organisational systems through their mobile device. But sometimes this isn’t possible.
In either situation, it’s important that your policies and procedures outline authorisation and log-in processes and when and what may or may not be stored locally (eg personal information.)
Security and confidentiality
A safety gain with mobile technology is that help is only a phone-call away wherever you are. So your policies and procedures should require staff to take and use their mobile phone for safety purposes while out with clients or travelling.
Organisational data also needs to be protected. Some basics for your policy and procedure are:
- not using public wifi
- not sharing passwords
- not leaving the device unattended in a public area
- securing the device/organisational data from tamariki and others playing on them.
A significant risk with mobile device use is that erodes work/life balance.
Because a mobile device can be used anywhere, at any time it can be harder to resist the pull of work while at home. It’s a good idea therefore for your organisational policy and procedure to clarify when staff are not expected to be “on tap” and accessible by remote technology to management, colleagues and clients.
No more worries
Keeping your policies and procedures up-to-date with changing regulations, technologies and practices can be challenging. We know from our clients and our own experience as operational managers how stressful it can be, especially when part of a busy workload.
Give us a ring if you want a hand or if you want your policies and procedures to be accessible remotely.
We can help with an online policy and procedure service that includes a regular review and updating service and with tailored reviews and updates.