Retailers Encourage Employee Smartphone Use at Work

More businesses let workers tap into apps for inventory, scheduling and training. 

October 08, 2019

WASHINGTON—While most employees aren’t without their smartphones in the workplace, more businesses are giving them permission to use those devices to do their jobs, SmartBrief reports. Employers are encouraging workers to download company apps to their personal phones to help with inventory management, training and scheduling.

By allowing employees to bring-your-own-device (BYOD), companies save money as well as potentially boosting productivity and retention. For example, when managers send out the weekly schedule via an app, employees can update their calendars right away.

A WorkJam study found that nearly seven out of 10 hourly workers believed apps could help them figure out their shifts. “Our smartphones are an extension of who we are, and being able to integrate aspects of our work lives into our personal devices creates ease and comfort for employees,” said Steven Kramer, co-founder, president and CEO of WorkJam.

When companies allow employees to access information related to their jobs on their own devices, it helps the workers “feel more a part of the organization that they’re at—not just the location that they’re at but the bigger organization,” said Joshua Ostrega, co-founder and chief customer office at WorkJam.

Walmart is one who sees the potential for BYOD, which it expanded to all stores nationwide last year. In a blog post, Walmart’s Senior Director of Digital Operations Brock McKeel said, “With BYOD, the moment associates clock in at work, they have tools that enable them to do the best job possible, right in their pockets.”