There is a lot to be said about the place of mobiles in business. The shift from mobiles being a relative rarity to everyone owning and using them in commerce has been a lightning fast transition. Of course being able to manage calls and e-mails wherever you are, without compromising your location is hugely advantageous. While this inevitably makes life easier for all of us, there are also negative implications, particularly with upcoming technology.
I do feel that mobiles have brought a certain justice in their own right. In the era pre-mobiles, do you remember being served by a shop assistant, only the phone rang and they stopped serving you and took the call, as if the call had some sort of precedence over you and what they had been doing for you. Who was there first? Now you can take calls and even make calls whilst they serve you!
That said, privacy is a fast becoming a serious problem; technology to track mobile phones locations is already available and in the advent of smartphones with GPS built in as standard, this kind of technology is becoming more and more mainstream. Ultimately, this means you can be tracked to your location by your employer. A system like this opens up the possibility of abuse, where your activity could also be tracked outside of working hours. Inconvenient though this may be for some of us, many employers think that if they pay for you and indeed for your mobile phone, they should be able to know where you are.
Of course the plus side is that while phones tell an employer where you are, if it’s been a particularly confusing day, your phone can tell you where you are as well!
Ultimately, employers knowing where you are probably won’t matter to you that much, unless of course your employer is your domestic partner! That could be really troublesome!
Having spoken to several of our London office based clients, another issue is of course mobile phone etiquette. It is better to make this lucid to employees at an early stage, as many have very different ideas about what is acceptable! Remember, silent alerts were invented for a reason, mobile microphones are pretty good these days, shouting will not achieve a clearer line for the person unlucky enough to be on the receieving end, however it will achieve the extreme irritation of those in your vicinity!