Keeping in touch with colleagues is essential in today’s fast-paced business environment. Finding the right mobile phones for employees – and on the right contract – can help improve productivity and keep costs down.
What makes a good business mobile phone?
Business mobile phones should emphasise productivity and mobile working over entertainment. Robustness is also a good quality, particularly if you regularly spend time travelling. Long-battery life can also be beneficial, for example if meetings get extended or you have to make a sudden overnight stay.
Useful handset features
- QWERTY keyboards – full size keyboards make it easy to write emails and text messages at top speed, allowing you to respond to urgent enquiries quicker than if you were using standard phone inputs
- Push e-mail – this system informs you immediately when you receive an e-mail (it ‘pushes’ it to your handset), allowing you to get on with work without having to constantly check for new messages
- Remote data wiping – since executives often deal with sensitive information it can be commercially damaging if business phones if their phones fall into the wrong hands. Remote data wiping allows the data stored on a phone to be deleted remotely should the handset get lost or stolen
- Synchronised calendars – the ability to synchronise the personal planner on your handset with both home and work PCs is incredibly useful as it ensures all calendars reflect your commitments at all times
- News/data updates – if you work with financial markets you may want an application that provides regularly updated share prices, or perhaps news stories if you’re a journalist
Business mobile contracts
Ensure contracts match employee needs; depending on their positions they may favour internet access over text messages, making unlimited data transfer attractive. If you’re buying many mobile phones, look for firms that offer specialist pricing plans for multiple users. Some companies allow significant customisation, giving you bulk buy discounts whilst simultaneously allowing you to create individual pricing plans for each mobile phone user.
Beneficial contract features
- Faulty handset replacement – this feature can be especially useful for busy executives who can’t afford to be without mobile access. Some companies will replace the handset within 24 hours
- Free calls between plan users – since plan users are likely to be colleagues there’s a good chance they’ll be in regular contact
- Landline to mobile forwarding – some companies provide a standard local rate number that forwards to your business mobile. This gives you the benefits of a fixed landline number without the cost of connecting your office to the local telephony network
- Free voicemail – meetings and travel can often prevent businesspeople from taking calls straight away. Voicemail charges can quickly mount up if you’re away on a trip; opting for a package that includes free voicemail can help keep costs down
The business mobile market is very competitive so make sure you talk to several companies before making a decision. The more users you want to put onto the plan, the better the deal you should get. If a company won’t negotiate on price, ask them to consider a feature bolt-on.