According to recent data, 26.6% of homes in the US only have a mobile phone and no landline. This means that for many employees their mobile phone is their only connection to friends and family. The mobile phone poses a problem in the workplace for the employer for efficiency, liability, and security.
The previous mobile phone policy at my company was one of strictly banning them. Mobile phones were thought to interfere with getting work done. An employee who was having a lengthy phone conversation or texting was not doing his/her job. The policy stated that phones were not to be brought into the building. Most employees left them in their cars and used them when on break or lunch. Unfortunately when the mobile phones were left in the car, where temperatures could easily soar over 100 degrees during the summer months, the phones quit working. The problem was rampant and dozens of employees had to purchase new phones. In essence the mobile phone policy was costing money and causing great inconvenience for the employees who had to replace their phones.
The mobile phone policy was changed to allow employees to bring their phones into the building. They were only to use them while on break or lunch and not in a manner to disturb their fellow employees. The new policy seemed to work fine for a while and employees were happy that their phones were in a temperature-controlled environment. Unfortunately some decided that "acceptable use" also meant that they could use their phones as mp3 players and as cameras. Pictures began showing up on Facebook and videos began showing up on YouTube that were clearly taken at work during work hours. Our IT department also began to worry that mobile phones could pose a data security problem because the phones could be used to take pictures of our software interfaces and key documents containing information that could be used for identity theft or for reverse-engineering our products.
So the time has come to create a new acceptable use policy for mobile phones that would encompass data security, not inconvenience the employees, protect the company from legal liability, and not result in a great expense to the company. It has been suggested that lockers be provided to the employees so that they might store their phones in them during work hours. In that way they would be in a temperature-controlled environment and they would be away from the employee during the work day. The installation of lockers would pose an expense to the company since floorspace would be required for them in addition to the purchase of the lockers themselves. Another suggestion has been to explicitly forbid certain uses of the phones with the threat of immediate termination.
What acceptable use policies do you currently have in your workplace? What aspects of the policy work and which ones need to be rewritten?