Smartphones dial up challenges for HR

Issues of work-life balance, security emerging
By Sarah Dobson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 12/14/2010

Many workers can’t imagine life without their smartphones. The popular devices, including BlackBerrys and iPhones, let employees stay in touch — with work, family and friends — around the clock. But smartphones are proving to be a challenge for both HR and IT departments when it comes to the work-life balance of employees and security risks.

Seventy per cent of employees say they are allowed to use their corporate devices for personal activities and 48 per cent can use their personally owned mobile devices to connect to corporate systems, according to a recent survey of 92 European organizations by IT and telecom specialist Ovum and the European Association for e-Identity and Security.

In addition, the laptop is becoming the new desktop as smartphones and tablets replace the old laptop. More than one-third of mobile employees believe a mobile device will usurp the laptop for general business purposes in 2011, found a recent survey of 1,100 people in North America, Europe and Asia by iPass.