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How to Manage the Use of Company Devices

Published October 20, 2016 (last updated June 30, 2023) - Face2Face Field Service Manager

These days, with businesses adopting a more accessible and mobile culture, more and more employers are providing employees with company-owned devices and assets such mobile phones, tablets, laptops and cars.

Whilst the majority of employees will treat company items with the utmost regard, there are some who may not, meaning businesses can cop the brunt of exuberant mobile phone charges, misuse, damage and careless treatment. So as an employer, what can you do to ensure these assets are used appropriately?

When employees are on the road and have access to the equipment at home or out of hours, it is impossible to monitor use and treatment of these devices or assets. To offset your concern, implementing associated policies is key. For example, if you provide employees with mobile phones, iPads or laptops clearly outline a policy for use that includes the amount of personal use tolerated, if any. Employers are within their rights to provide devices that are strictly for work use only. Your policy can also determine that devices must not be used for malicious activity that would ultimately damage the business and its function.

A similar stance can be applied to company cars. As an employer, you can stipulate when the car can or cannot be used, if a petrol card is provided, or expenses associated are reimbursed. If the treatment of the car is of concern, you can also outline employees’ responsibilities with regards to the cleanliness and care of the vehicle.

The inclusion of policies associated with company devices is instrumental in safeguarding you and your business against misuse, overuse or mistreatment.

When implementing policies such as this, you must ensure they are thorough, while clearly identifying what is acceptable, and advising what the associated repercussion for misuse will be. We also recommend creating separate policies for each device. Doing so will defuse confusion by identifying what is deemed appropriate for each device.

When distributing these company devices, it is best practice to provide the employee with receipt of the device with a copy of the policy, giving them the opportunity to read it and sign a corresponding acknowledgement form.

If you make changes to the policy at any time, you must ensure all employees affected are made aware, are provided with a copy of the new document and re-sign an acknowledgement form.

As the leading workplace relations specialist, Employsure can assist in the construction and implementation of any policies and procedures required for your business. Call us today on 0800 675 700.

About Employsure

Employsure is one of New Zealand’s largest workplace relations advisers to small and medium businesses, with over 5,500 clients. We take the complexity out of workplace legislation to help small business employers protect their business and their people.

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