December 08, 2021 | Blog

4 Steps for Incorporating Context Into Your Mobile Device Usage Policy

For the 80% of the global workforce that doesn’t sit behind a desk to do their jobs, mobile devices are especially essential. Most companies have a usage policy in place around these devices in order to ensure security, safety, and productivity. However, one crucial consideration can often be missing from these policies – context.

The very idea of a “deskless worker” implies movement between contexts. These workers often find themselves in different environments throughout their workday, and as a result, will have different needs for their mobile devices depending on the context.

But why should this affect policy? The reality is, a one-size-fits-all usage policy is insufficient when the definition of “appropriate use” can vary from employee to employee, place to place, and time to time. A modern mobile device usage policy understands and incorporates this idea, and ultimately better serves the growing population of deskless workers.

Unsure about incorporating context into a new or existing mobile device usage policy? Here are four easy steps to get started.

 

Analyze The Work Environment

First thing’s first – business leaders should take a holistic overview of their business. Complete a comprehensive audit of business operations – look at what work is being done, where that work is being done, what is the surrounding environment for the employee while they are working, what if any mobile tools are needed to do that work, and finally how long those tools are needed.

This audit will help you define various contexts wherein mobile devices are being used, how they differ, and what employees need within them.

This could be the most time-consuming step, but it’s the most important part of creating a context-based mobile policy.

 

Lean Into Mobile Enablement

Too often, companies and their policies make the mistake of focusing too much on how devices shouldn’t be used, rather than how they should. This severely limits the potential benefits of mobility for your workers.

The purpose of mobility is to empower workers with the tools they need whenever and wherever they need them. That’s why it’s critical to have a mindset of enablement, not an impediment. Consider what employees need to get the job done – what tools, apps, and functions are they using? Is there something that would serve them better?

Once these crucial elements are defined, it becomes much easier to identify any extraneous functionality.

 

Define ‘Appropriate Use’ Across Contexts

Once you’ve considered all possible work environments, who are using devices, and what they need from them, it’s time to define exactly what ‘appropriate use’ looks like in each context. Do you workers drive from location to location? Then they likely need navigation apps and hands-free calling. On a warehouse floor, employees would need to access an inventory management system.

Be specific, and as granular as necessary in this step. What’s appropriate might differ across groups of employees, times of day, and more. An effective policy should leave no room for misinterpretation.

Additionally, identify the ‘why’ behind the policy. Explain how the policy is in place to help employees. There are likely considerations for their safety, so explain the risks of inappropriate device use. Draw on the idea of mobile enablement – you’re seeking to empower employees with everything they need to do the job, without being distracted by anything they don’t.

 

Consider Enforcement

Developing a mobile device policy that incorporates context is a valuable step toward modernizing your business. However, any policy is only as effective as the capability of its enforcement. How can you ensure that your employees are adhering to the guidelines you so carefully created?

In reality, a policy is just one piece of the mobility management puzzle. Without more robust management from a technology standpoint, a policy will do little to prevent violations before they occur.

The good news is that TRUCE Software has the enforcement solution for the deskless workforce. Our Contextual Mobility Management software adapts content on a mobile device in real-time based on the environment, so that your policy is enforced automatically, and to the letter. Learn more about how we’re making context-based policies enforceable in our e-book: “Context is Everything: Embrace the Benefits of Mobility, Without Sweating the Risks”.