The Smartphone – a Business Friend or Foe?

The Smartphone – a Business Friend or Foe?

The rise of the smartphone has brought with it many advantages for a whole realm of personal and professional endeavours — social networking, immediate contact via email, media sharing platforms, messaging services and much, much more. There is no question that smartphones provide major advantages to any company that is looking to increase performance from their workers and to maximize efficiency, but many employers still question whether or not these can be outweighed by the distractions that also come along with being constantly connected to the digital world.

Busy businessman using smartphone
photo credit: Per Gosche / Flickr

So for those trying to decide if smartphones are the right way forward for their business, here are some pros and cons to consider.

The Good

One of the major advantages of smartphones is that they allow employees to work more flexible hours and to multi-task, meaning that they can easily take care of business related work inside and outside the office, as well as away from a computer. This type of flexibility is highly sought after by talented young employees, who both value their time and appreciate the ease with which work can be completed when technology is engaged to its fullest capabilities.

Another distinct advantage to the multi-tasking and remote working abilities that are afforded by smartphones is that it softens the anxiety-inducing “Fear of Missing Out” that is often present in today’s millennial workers. There is no need to worry about entering a meeting without vital new information, or missing a meeting all together, as the smartphone provides the type of technology necessary to keep in touch at all times.

Businesswoman takes a business call
photo credit: Randy Kashka / Flickr

The Bad

The main negative that comes along with providing employees with smartphones is that the technology can be distracting, as it provides constant access to social media sites and all the other many distractions that can be found online. This can lower productivity, though, in essence, it does not provide any more distractions than would otherwise be available from a computer.

Other drawbacks, at the opposite end of the spectrum, include the possibility of over-working, as smartphones allow employees virtually 24 hour access to business documents and other general work. This constant level of work can lead to exhaustion or burnout, and some countries such as France have enforced laws that are designed to limit the amount of work that is allowed to be done remotely via digital devices — this includes everything up to checking and sending business emails outside of working hours.

If a company is looking to utilize smartphones to improve their business, then it is essential to provide employees with the best mobile phone plan, including the  right amount of data in order to prevent them from running out at a critical business moment. It would also be practical and important to implement a policy on how and when smartphones should be used. Remember, smartphones can be a major advantage to any business so long as they are used properly by both employers and employees.

Ivan Widjaya

Ivan Widjaya is the Owner/Editor of, as well as several other blogs. He is a business blogger, web publisher and content marketer for SMEs.