The Disadvantages of Blackberry as a Work Instrument
With companies eager to technologically hook up employees with the latest and greatest phones and computers, the disadvantages of these tiny computer-like devices are often overlooked. While there are numerous benefits of having an entire company using a Blackberry to conduct business and communicate, there are disadvantages to being wired in all the time. Most employers would agree that the pros outweigh the cons, but a business must weight all benefits and disadvantages before investing in a Blackberry for every employee.
Studies show that once a person becomes used to always having a phone that provides notifications and applications that can be accessed instantly, they almost become addicted to checking the phone. The Blackberry will buzz or light up when there's a text message, voicemail, email, or other notification from an application. It can be distracting to an employee during a meeting or a regular phone call and cause them to pay more attention to what's happening on the Blackberry than staying in the moment and paying attention. This can cause the employee to miss important details, and depending on how wrapped up they are in their Blackberry, they may not even realize they missed information or a project due date.
Ring tones can also be a distraction. Since ring tones can be personalized, an employee may choose to add music or a loud noise to use as their ring tone. This can easily become a distraction to other employees and cause a nuisance.
As more companies purchase Blackberries for their employees, studies are being done to determine the effectiveness of this decision. One finding is that constantly having work at your fingertips can turn many regular employees into workaholics. Employees may be tempted to check work-related items on the weekends, while on vacation, late at night, and first thing in the morning. While this may seem ideal to a business owner who wants tons of productive employees, workaholics are often stressed, tired, and depressed. This can quickly lead to employee burnout, dissatisfaction, and a loss of productivity.
Heavy Reliance on the Device
Once we can take our work anywhere, we can become slaves to our precious BlackBerries. Unless your company is completely switching over to using only Blackberries as the means of business, you don't want your employees neglecting the office. While it's ideal that all business correspondents would call an employees Blackberry, some may still leave messages at the office or call the office phone. Employees who rely on their Blackberry and neglect to check in at the office may miss important calls or communications.
Ways to Prevent Problems
Since the company foots the bill for the Blackberry, you can lay down ground rules for its use. You may require that employees leave it on vibrate in the office or everyone uses the same ringtone. You may ban them from office meetings so they aren't a distraction. You can request that employees don't become too addicted to conducting business 24/7 to help prevent burnout. While there are some cons to using a Blackberry for business, you can try to prevent some of the more major concerns.