Personal Use of Company Technology

The way that we do business has changed, and technology has driven much of that transformation.  Cell phones, computers, printers, and the internet allow workers to be more productive and efficient.  However, they can also drive down productivity and increase costs.   Below is some food for thought as you consider implementing a technology policy for your firm.

Cell Phones

Before handing over a company-sponsored phone to an employee, set guidelines regarding its use.  Otherwise, you’ll find yourself reacting to unwanted behavior.  If you have an unlimited plan, this advice may not apply to you.  However, if your plan is limited, it is important to communicate usage expectations to device holders before your phone bills get out of control.


Considered the heart of company technology in the modern workplace, computers are invaluable.  However, despite the positive benefits associated with having them, computers can be misused and lead to potential to unnecessary headaches.  Viruses, electronic storage costs, and excess wear and tear (specifically, for laptops that employees take home) are among the most common, but preventable cost drivers.   To keep costs and downtime in check, ask an IT specialist for help blocking access to questionable sites and unauthorized downloads to company technology.  One bad download can infect an individual computer at best and an entire network at worst.

Internet Habits

Like the two issues above, irresponsible internet browsing habits can increase financial costs, such as expenses related to virus removal.  However, it can also cost you one of your company’s greatest assets – its reputation.  When employees click links on unsafe websites, your company’s network becomes vulnerable to attack by cyber criminals who are anxious to get access to sensitive information.  Not only does your employees’ personal information become a cyber thief’s goldmine, but so does your client’s information.  Don’t let lax technology management sink your business and information protection reputation.

Copiers and Printers

Finally, we all know someone who has used the company printer or copier to make flyers for personal use.  While it may seem like an innocent activity, this practice is costly.  Ray Morgan Company, a document technology firm, estimated that printing is often a company’s third largest operating expense – rent and payroll are the first and second, respectively.

The Bottom Line

An effective technology policy can significantly reduce unwanted behavior.  It can also keep expenses in check and protect your company’s reputation