woman using business cell phone

Employers often cover work-related expenses. One of these expenses is the use of cell phones. In this case, employers have two options: reimbursing business-related phone expenses or providing employees with company cell phones.

If you’re having trouble deciding which option to choose, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of giving out company cell phones.

Is It a Good Idea to Give Out Company Cell Phones?

Giving out company cell phones isn’t a decision you should rush. For some companies, giving out cell phones is a step towards easier and more convenient communication. For others, this can be an unnecessary expense.

To help you make the right choice, we’ve gathered a list of pros and cons of giving out company cell phones.

Pros

Here’s why giving out company cell phones can be a great idea:

Compatibility

If you decide to give cell phones to your employees, you can select a carrier, operating system, and hardware that works best for your line of work. For example, if you use Android-based software, you can choose cell phones with the same operating system. That way, you ensure every employee has access to the same apps, programs, and features.

Ultimately, this will streamline communication and increase productivity.

Reduced Costs

Although it may sound illogical at first, providing company cell phones can reduce your costs in the long run. Namely, many employers reimburse their employees if they use their private phones for business purposes. Covering numerous individual plans with different carriers often turns out to be very expensive.

If you open a business account with one carrier for multiple lines, you’ll most likely spend significantly less money. More often than not, the more lines you have, the lower the costs. Plus, buying cell phones in bulk can also get you a good price due to competitive offers.

Availability

Depending on your line of work, you may have employees that need to be available at short notice if there’s an emergency. On-call staff or senior-level employees often fall into this category. Responding to calls is often a part of the job description for such people.

Company cell phones are a good way to ensure quick and easy access to such employees. Whether it’s through calls or workplace programs and software, communication with particular staff will be much smoother thanks to company phones.

Easier Hiring

A company offering staff cell phones can help you attract new employees. If used correctly, this is an excellent incentive and advertising strategy. You’ll be able to hire new quality staff and keep the current employees satisfied with the conditions you offer.

Data Security

While your employees can use their private phones to access the company’s software and data, there’s no guarantee the connection is safe. This could result in someone else accessing classified information and jeopardizing your company’s work.

By issuing company cell phones, you can take precautions to protect your company and sensitive data. These precautions include anti-virus software, password protection, regular updates, routine backups, etc.

Cons

Before deciding, it’s essential to consider some of the negative sides of giving out company phones:

Inconvenience

Most people hardly go anywhere without their cell phones. However, carrying a private and a work phone with you at all times can be inconvenient. Some employees could be tempted to use the work phone for private purposes, which isn’t always permitted and could increase costs.

More Work for the IT Department

While ensuring all employees have access to the same hardware and software is beneficial, it can create more work for your IT staff. If any issues arise, your IT department should fix them as soon as possible. These unpredictable problems can disrupt the normal workflow of the IT staff and cause delays in other areas.

Potential Replacements

Since your employees don’t technically own the phones provided, they may not be as careful with them. Even if they are, accidental drops can happen to anyone. Moreover, a phone can simply stop functioning even if the employee takes proper care of it. This could result in replacing one or multiple phones from time to time.

You should be prepared for these additional unexpected expenses.

Regular Upgrades

Cell phone technology advances rapidly, and new features are frequently introduced. If you decide to give out company cell phones, you will need to upgrade them. Keeping up with current demands typically means upgrading phones once every two or three years.

Besides adhering to the latest technology trends, regular upgrades can increase your employees’ productivity. Working with obsolete or slow equipment often results in stress, distraction, and mistakes. If you offer your employees a chance to use modern cell phones, you’ll motivate them to give 100%.

How to Choose What Type of Company Cell Phone to Give

When choosing the type of cell phone to give out to your employees, you should consider several crucial factors.

Line of Work

Your company’s line of work can “dictate” what type of cell phone you should issue to your staff. If you often communicate with your team through workplace-specific apps, there’s no point in giving out cell phones that don’t support them. For example, if you use Mac computers, you’ll most likely opt for iPhones to maintain the technology ecosystem.

If your employees only use phones to make phone calls to clients, you don’t have to give out the latest models. A phone with basic functions will do just fine.

Environment

The environment also plays a significant role in deciding what cell phones you should get for your employees. Working from home or an office isn’t the same as working outdoors, and such employees often have different needs. You want to give them phones they will be able to use regardless of the surroundings.

If you want phones that are resistant to dust, impacts, thermal shocks, and water, Cat devices are an excellent option. They have impressive ratings and adhere to military standards in terms of resistance. Plus, they feature customizable buttons that enable easier communication with colleagues or superiors, depending on the situation.

Cat offers several excellent rugged options that range is both price functionality. One of our top picks would be the Cat S42 H+ rugged smartphone. Aside from offering powerful performance and a fully rugged exterior, the S42 H+ also features an antimicrobial coating, making it a perfect choice in today’s health conscience environment.

For a more stripped down option, we also love the Cat S22 Flip. This rugged flip phone combines basic features with smart capabilities, offering a unique experience for workers in active environments.

Besides being affordable, these devices can also help you save money in the long run. Due to their rugged build, Cat phones are almost indestructible and will last for a long time. Hence, you won’t have to upgrade the devices too often.

Employees

Consulting with your employees regarding their phone needs can be an excellent idea to get constructive suggestions. This will help you make the right choice and boost morale because your staff will feel appreciated.

Price

It’s essential to consider your company’s profits when deciding on a company phone. If you’re still in the start-up phase, giving out expensive phones may not be a good idea. In contrast, if you’ve made more profit in the last few years, you can treat your employees to modern phones with interesting features.

How to Get Bulk Rates for Company Cell Phones

business phone

Purchasing a large number of company cell phones at once can give you an excellent deal in terms of price. Generally speaking, the more phones you buy, the lower the price. If you want the best price, it’s best to contact multiple distributors and carriers to get the most competitive offers.

Most distributors will be willing to help you choose the right type of cell phone and give you a good price. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and read the offers carefully before deciding. Keep in mind you should purchase only from certified resellers.

Do You Need to Get a Plan for a Company Cell Phone?

Many carriers advertise affordable plans for company cell phones. While it can be good to have a plan that reflects your company’s needs regarding free calls, messages, and data, there are a few drawbacks to consider.

Getting a plan means you’ll need to sign a contract that usually lasts at least two years. During this period, you’ll have to stay with the provider you signed the contract with, even if you’re not satisfied with the service. In case you want to end the contract early, you’ll be required to pay costly termination fees and the remaining installments.

Many people believe that buying company cell phones on a plan is more affordable because you don’t have to pay for everything right away. Even though it can be convenient to spread out your payments, you’ll end up paying much more than if you purchased unlocked phones.

If you trust a carrier and you’ve managed to get a good deal, buying company cell phones on a plan can be a good idea. However, if you’re not sure you’ll be satisfied, it may be better to consider alternatives.

Some employers opt for purchasing unlocked phones, i.e., phones that aren’t restricted to a particular network and using the company’s Wi-Fi. Unlocked phones offer much more flexibility and enable you to choose and change your provider as you please. You don’t have to sign a contract and pay expensive termination fees. Instead, you can tailor the plan to match your company’s needs in the future.

What Plan to Get for a Company Cell Phone

Every company has different needs, which is why it’s impossible to say one plan is better than the other. If you want to get the best plan for your company, you’ll need to consider several factors:

Calling Habits

The first step towards selecting an adequate cell phone plan is to analyze past phone bills and establish your company’s calling patterns.

Ascertain whether the calls are local, regional, or international. This information can be valuable when choosing the right plan. If your employees often talk to foreign clients, you’ll want to go with a plan that offers free or low-cost international calls. In contrast, if your calls are local and you’re not planning on expanding to the international market, you don’t need the option of making calls outside the country.

Employee’s Needs

Besides communicating with clients, your employees need to collaborate amongst themselves. It’s crucial to talk to your staff and allow them to share their opinions regarding phone plans. If your employees are often texting each other or using the internet to work outside the office, you need to get a plan that can support this system.

Moreover, determine which employees should get company cell phones. Typically, senior management, salespeople, and mobile employees should be issued with a phone. Staff who need to be available at all times should also get a phone. Once you know the exact number of employees who need a phone, you’ll be able to find a plan that matches their needs.

Service Provider

Due to the fierce competition among phone carriers, you can get excellent plans at affordable prices. While this is useful, it makes choosing the right provider more difficult.

The best way to select your carrier is to compare several options that offer service in your area. Research their coverage, conditions, and additional features, and determine which one reflects your company’s needs.

You also need to consider whether you want to opt for a local or national service provider. There isn’t a wrong choice, and it should be based on whether your business is confined to a local or regional area. National carriers generally offer a reliable service across the country, but they tend to be pricey if your company is local. In that case, you may want to go with a local carrier that can give you a good price and offer personalized service.

Talk to a Corporate Cell Phone Expert

Deciding whether you should give out company cell phones isn’t easy. If you do decide to go for it, there are many important decisions to consider.

You’ll need to research your company’s needs thoroughly and choose an option that will suit every employee. Since every business is different, what works for one company may not work for yours. All of this can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve never purchased company cell phones before.

We’re here to make the process easier for you. At Energy Electronics, we have a team of experts with years of experience in the corporate cell phone world to help you make the best choices. We have extensive knowledge and can recommend options that reflect your company’s needs. Plus, we offer bulk rates for our devices, enabling you to get excellent phones at affordable prices.

Fill out this form, and an Energy Electronics staff member will get back to you within one business hour: