Policy for the Use of Smartphones in Organizations

Policy for the Use of Smartphones in Organizations

The use of smartphones became increasingly popular, according to the 29th edition of the Annual Survey of the Use of IT, from the Getúlio Vargas Foundation, and coordinated by Prof. Fernando S. Meirelles, the number of smartphones in use in Brazil reached 220 million in May 2018. In addition to the obvious communication facilities, this also brings an alert situation for Organizations, due to possible indiscriminate uses by some people, such as, diversion of attention during meetings, or distractions during working hours caused by unproductive browsing, in addition, of course, to information security problems, arising from the incredible ease of filming and photographing.

Interested and curious about the subject, I searched for some research on smartphone usage policies in Organizations. As I didn’t find them, I decided to do a search myself through the Brazilian plant management portal GestaoIndustrial.com. Responses were obtained from 18/04/2018 to 01/06/2018, totaling 164 respondents. See the following results.

We see that the majority of visitors to GestaoIndustrial.com who answered the survey work in companies with up to 50 employees, then we have the range of those who work in companies with more than 1000, between 200 and 1000, and finally, between 50 and 200 employees.

Despite all the ease of using the smartphone in our day-to-day communication, there are possible and serious consequences for their misuse, especially with regard to security and productivity aspects. Still, we see that 57% of respondents stated that the company they work for does not have any Smartphone usage policy. Having a written Policy was indicated by only 24% of respondents.

By making a cross analysis between the size of the Organizations and the answers about the existence of Politics, we noticed a certain balance between the different sizes of companies.

Considering the companies that have a written policy about smartphones, just over half (54%) said they were asked to sign some kind of Policy for using a smartphone.

By doing a cross analysis, we realized that small (up to 50 employees) and large companies (more than 1000) seem to be the most interested in obtaining the Policy for using a smartphone signed.

Of the respondents who work in companies that have some kind of Policy for using a smartphone (not necessarily written), 63% said there was a determination not to use it in meetings.

According to respondents, larger companies seem to be the most liberal regarding the use of smartphones in meetings.

As for the use of apps, almost half of the professionals (47%) who said they work in a company that has some type of Policy (not necessarily written) indicated that there is no requirement for specific security settings.

From the answers given, large companies (more than 1000 employees) seem to be the most demanding when it comes to installing and using smartphone apps.

As for the restrictions on the use of the smartphone, the biggest concern seems to be regarding photos and filming.

From the answers given by the professionals who visited GestaoIndustrial.com, companies with more than 1000 employees, while more liberal in their use of smartphones during working hours, seem to be the most concerned about the information security aspect (photos and videos).

All these data, eventhough limited, shows that there is a lot of room for improvements on the way of disciplining the use of smartphones in the Organizations in order to get more from the good things, and less of the bad things related to it.