According to Gartner, by 2017, 50 percent of employees will be required to use their smartphones on the job. But so far there hasn’t been an answer to the question in every manager’s mind  ‘How do I know if they’re really being used for work?’

When it comes to work, smartphones are useful for a variety of reasons. Accessing emails, instant messaging (IM), using productivity apps, calendars, GPS – the list goes on. But they are also prone to causing unwanted distractions in the workplace, according to, 89% of respondents admitted to wasting time at work. If that’s the case, is it worth providing your employees with a smartphone, or it is just another distraction from the job at hand?

It depends largely on the nature of work your employees undertake. For example, for an employee who deals with communications across several platforms such as email and IM, and is also frequently on the move during the working day, it becomes something of a necessity.

It can also prove vital in industries such as logistics, with the easy relay of messages and GPS tracking to employees transporting goods. There’s also the benefit of sharing files, calendar schedules and other such data that only smartphone apps can process.

A Boost To Productivity?

Research conducted by Kansas State University suggests that smartphone use for breaks can actually improve employee well-being, thereby improving productivity. Communication with family and friends can help employees recover from work related stress, even short spells on games can improve brain function, but crucially, it’s all about moderation.

Monitoring Smartphone Usage

If you do decide to provide company smartphones, there are several ways in which you can ensure that employees are using them correctly AND safely.

Employee monitoring software is now able to go beyond desktop monitoring to allow you to monitor any smartphone, tablet and other such devices owned by the company or connected to the company network.

KnowIT is one such employee monitoring software that is capable of tracking the use of iOS and Android devices, with features such as:

  • Email monitoring
  • IM monitoring
  • Social media monitoring
  • Prohibited websites and application alerts
  • File transfer alerts

All of the above will be presented in easy to understand reports for individual devices and the company as a whole, giving you all the vital information to ensure that company smartphones are being used correctly.

To learn more about KnowIT and how it can benefit your business, click here.