Help or Hindrance? Smart Phones in the Workplace

Published: 19th July 2010
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Whether you're an eBay seller working out of a basement or a small business owner moving into your first brick and mortar building, chances are there is a smart phone within arm's reach. Even if you originally bought your smart phone for "business use only," that line has probably blurred a bit as you juggle home life with wearing the hat of an entrepreneur.

A smart phone is capable of receiving crucial e-mail while you're out handling other business. Otherwise, you wouldn't have known the e-mail had been received until you got back to the office several hours later. In this instance, a smart phone could have saved a business deal or alerted you to a situation before it got out of hand. But, does owning a smart phone for business really make life easier or does it seem like a digital leash?

In additional to handling POP3 and Web-based e-mail, smart phones also communicate well with the most popular social networking sites. Probably the most common sites you'll hear about around the water cooler are Twitter and Facebook. Some business owners have embraced the idea of social networking while others question whether it is more social than networking.

"It drives me nuts when I'm leading a meeting and someone's phone lights up or buzzes with a tweet or status update," Jake Phillips explained. "It's aggravating to watch them try to sneak a peek at their phone. They think I don't notice."

It appears that a smart phone is like any tool. If used properly, it can solve disasters before than happen and make your personal and professional life run more smoothly. If used improperly, it can cost you your job, affect relationships, and even control your life.

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