By Harjot Sidhu

Whether your company provides devices to employees or reimburses team members who use their own mobile devices on the job, it’s important to set ground rules and manage expectations. A  policy that spells out exactly what employees can expect from the IT team helps strengthen employee relationships with the company and can also protect both parties from excessive charges or data loss.

  1. Let employees know privacy isn’t absolute. When devices are used for business and personal communication, the employer has a legitimate stake in the content on the device, but it’s important to make sure employees know this. Employers should spell out reasonable privacy expectations in company policy so there are no surprises.
  2. Make allowances for personal use overages. Employees who use the same device for business and personal use typically get a set amount of data for business use and are responsible for personal use charges that exceed that amount. But it’s good policy to forgive a certain amount of personal overages so that employees don’t incur excessive charges.
  3. Make sure employees notify IT about international travel. Employees can incur enormous roaming charges if they use their device during international travel. The IT team should have established procedures in place to minimize it, so make it a policy that employees are required to notify the company in advance of an international trip or upon arrival in a roaming region so the company can take steps to avoid a huge fee.
  4. Clarify overtime eligibility in the context of device usage. Non-exempt employees should generally not expect to be automatically eligible for OT for using their device after the workday is done. After performing due diligence on overtime laws for each operating region, make sure the technology or mobile device policy conforms to all applicable regulations and that employees understand it.
  5. Advise employees to back up their personal information. If they’re using a device for work and personal use, employees may mistakenly believe the company will help them recover personal information if the device is lost, stolen or damaged. Make sure they understand that their personal data is their responsibility. It’s also a good idea to have a policy in place for transferring personal information when employees leave the company.

Harjot Sidhu, CISSP, is the vice president of consulting services at Vox Mobile. Follow at @VoxMobile.