Who Should Pay for Mobile Services?


Recently, we discussed tips to eliminate headaches in managing mobile and fixed telecom services.  Here’s another of those headaches and it’s building momentum.

As executives seek ways to keep the bottom line in check, company-paid mobile services are coming under increasing scrutiny.  It’s natural to want to cut operational costs, but we’re not convinced that shifting responsibility to employees is the answer.

Who should pay for mobile services?  We think the answer is somewhat more nuanced.

Company-liable mobile services are an expense which has some significant benefits for employers.  Employees stay connected, regardless of where they are.  They’re able to forward their desk top phones to their mobiles and stay in touch with what’s going on.  That’s value-added for employers. It pays for itself.

Employees can take their work with them, wherever they go.  They needn’t be shackled to their desks to get the job done.  That value-added for employees. It keeps them happy.

As with everything in life, it’s a matter of balance.  That balance is not an impossible dream, either.  It can be had with some simple attention to detail which ensures that employers are getting the best bang for their buck.  It also ensures that employees aren’t discouraged from staying connected, due to having to bear the burden of company cell phone expenses.

Defining usage.

Also in our recent post on mobile headaches, we talked about clearly defined boundaries.  Many of the questions arising in the tussle over companies footing the bill for mobile coverage, are about improper usage and a failure on the part of employees to abide by policies which address it.

Being clear with employees about what their company-provided mobiles are for is the first step to restoring balance and sanity to your mobile services budget.  When employees are given clear and unambiguous guidelines concerning personal use of their company phones, they’ll abide by them.  That’s especially so when their managers are charged with approving their expenses.

Checks and balances concerning permissible usage are central to defining this question.  If the bottom line has stakeholders restive, they’re something that can demonstrate due diligence on your part.  Checks and balances can also demonstrate that mobile devices are a necessary feature of doing business in the 21st Century that ultimately keeps key players happy, available and efficient.

Responding appropriately.

We suspect that at the heart of this discussion lies an assertion that employees needn’t be available when they’re offsite.  After all, the rest of history has somehow managed to unfold without 24/7 contact, right?

Sure, but because of technology, we’re all addicted to accessibility and that’s a fact that’s not about to change any time soon.  Demanding that employees bear the cost of cell phones is a short-sighted, somewhat anachronistic answer to cost reduction that has a much more satisfying response.  Some of that response is clearly defined policy.

But a big part of that response is outsourced telecom support that recognizes the challenges of corporate mobile technology and addresses some of the objections which arise.  Contact OpDecision to find out more.

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