Should employees provide their own phones, computers, etc?
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Thread: Should employees provide their own phones, computers, etc?

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    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    Default Should employees provide their own phones, computers, etc?

    While my music station was on an insanely long commercial break, I switched channels & listened to a bit of news radio. They were talking with a guy who was saying that the new thing for employers is going to be to have employees provide their own phones & computers. He said no one likes having a work computer & a personal computer, no one likes having a work phone & a personal phone, so the solution is for everyone to use their personal stuff for work. He said many companies that have a lot of remote workers or people who travel a lot already use services that forward their work phone calls to their personal cell phones because the service is cheaper than providing a phone & a separate phone line for each employee, it's about $20/month per employee vs. upwards of $100 for a smart phone with data plan. Blackberries have been able to do this kind of thing for a while, switch easily from business to personal use, with your work email replying on the work side & personal email replying on the personal side, you see only work contacts on one side & only personal contacts on the other, etc.

    The radio people asked about hacking, security of private information, etc. He said that work computers can be stolen & they can be hacked, but the fact is that people generally take care of their private stuff better than their work stuff. He said there was a study done at an airport where any time a phone or computer was lost, the person claiming it was asked if it was business or personal, and 90% of them were business items. He said any good IT deparment, or a good IT contractor such as himself, should be able to set up a "work section" that is password protected, on any laptop or tablet device.

    What do you think? If your employer told you to use your personal computer for work, would you be OK with it? What if you didn't have the particular device your employer wanted? Let's say you're perfectly happy with your old flip phone and your desktop computer, should you have to buy a smart phone & laptop because your employer wants you to use them?
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    Posting Addict ange84's Avatar
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    No I don't agree with it. I have worked with people who will take their own phone instead of a work phone on jobs, but that is not the safest practice in my job and it's harder for someone to have to search your personal number to get you than a work one. We have had some team leaders ask to have their work phone diverted to their personal phone for on call, but I guess in that situation you have to be ok with paying for work related calls off your private phone.
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    Mega Poster raingirl28's Avatar
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    I think it depends on the company and industry. I work for a bank so that would never be allowed. They need to control and lock down all aspects of our computers and phones to ensure everything is private, controlled, and traceable. We aren't permitted to use our own phones or computers for anything work related, it's against policy.

    But, say you work for a small company like a plumber with 6 employees, it might be better. You wouldn't be doing anything super private or personal via email or computer to make it worth having a work phone or work computer.
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    I want things to be separate and I expect my employer to provide the tools I need to do the job I've been hired for. The only thing I can think of is that my company gave me an iPhone and pays for the service. If I already owned an iPhone, I think having them pick up the bill for the service would make sense. Right now I have a very plain cell phone (just for calling & texting & it takes photos) that is my personal one and I do NOT want that connected to my work phone. My work iPhone is great and I use it for email and doing work when I'm commuting but I like that it's separate.

    I work in Digital, so we all need good equipment at work. It would be unreasonable to expect people just starting out to have high end equipment.
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    I would be fine with it if - and only if - everything on it is now private. My employer can look at my saved work on the computer at work and just about anything and everything else. I don't want that to be part of the bargain. A lot of men have porn on their personal computers. I wouldn't want the line to blur between privacy and lack thereof.

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    I want to add that my company does NOT want people's personal computers on our secure network. They give us ways to access things remotely via the web but they are really careful about which computers can get connected to the network.
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    I agree that it would vary greatly by what profession you were in.

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    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ethanwinfield View Post
    I would be fine with it if - and only if - everything on it is now private. My employer can look at my saved work on the computer at work and just about anything and everything else. I don't want that to be part of the bargain. A lot of men have porn on their personal computers. I wouldn't want the line to blur between privacy and lack thereof.
    This is my concern as well. My employer has the right to inspect anything & everything on my work computer, including emails and online activity, and we can't download anything at all. They also can monitor my computer usage to see how much time I'm spending on various things to see if matches up with my billing. I can't imagine they would want to give that all up, and I wouldn't want to give up my right to privacy on MY OWN computer. And I also wouldn't want to be expected to answer my phone for work questions on my day off. Right now, if someone has a question, they leave me a message, and I get back to them on Monday or during business hours, but if my phone rings and I pick it up, do I get to say, "Sorry, it's 8pm, I'm on family time now,"????
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    I work from home and my company supplies my computer and internet. While I'm sure a hacker with any experience could eventually attack our network it is very secure (in my non IT opinion lol). I have to supply my own workspace and electricity.

    I could not see us having it combined. I want to be able to download things that I see fit but it's such a danger with my work due to Hipaa and PHI.
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