Author Topic: Using work phone for personal use  (Read 20309 times)

griffin

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Using work phone for personal use
« on: June 26, 2014, 08:35:29 PM »
Hi everyone,
So my phone contract is about to expire, and I will not be renewing it for various reasons. Instead, I am considering using my employer-provided cell phone for personal use. I spoke with my manager and he said the company is comfortable with employees using the phones for personal use, provided they don't go over the plan limits (not an issue for me). Has anyone else here done this before? I'd love to hear some experiences! My primary concern is that I would like to avoid receiving personal messages while at work (I work a shift position, so no issues with receiving undesired work communications while I am at home). I don't use my personal phone for calling, only texting, so it seems like there may be an app I could use to separate my personal texts from my work-related ones. A quick search showed a few options, like TextFree and Hushed; has anyone used these before? Let me know what you guys think!
(I wish I could add a poll here but I'm not sure how. Maybe a mod could help me out? something like 1.) I keep work phone and personal phone seperate. 2.) I use one phone for both 3.) I don't have a business phone 4.) I don't have a personal phone or something?)
Cheers!
Griffin

GGNoob

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Re: Using work phone for personal use
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2014, 08:55:38 PM »
I use my work phone for personal use, however, my employer requires us to pay $25 a month if we want to use it for personal use. But doing that, I get unlimited LTE data with Verizon. I don't keep anything separate and I'm not worried about it. Do you actually have to keep things separate or is that a personal preference?

rmendpara

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Re: Using work phone for personal use
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2014, 09:37:11 PM »
Hi everyone,
So my phone contract is about to expire, and I will not be renewing it for various reasons. Instead, I am considering using my employer-provided cell phone for personal use. I spoke with my manager and he said the company is comfortable with employees using the phones for personal use, provided they don't go over the plan limits (not an issue for me). Has anyone else here done this before? I'd love to hear some experiences! My primary concern is that I would like to avoid receiving personal messages while at work (I work a shift position, so no issues with receiving undesired work communications while I am at home). I don't use my personal phone for calling, only texting, so it seems like there may be an app I could use to separate my personal texts from my work-related ones. A quick search showed a few options, like TextFree and Hushed; has anyone used these before? Let me know what you guys think!
(I wish I could add a poll here but I'm not sure how. Maybe a mod could help me out? something like 1.) I keep work phone and personal phone seperate. 2.) I use one phone for both 3.) I don't have a business phone 4.) I don't have a personal phone or something?)
Cheers!
Griffin

I wish I could do it, but I still have a contract on my personal line until next January. Sad though, as my work cell is global unlimited everything on Verizon... :(

desk_jockey

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Re: Using work phone for personal use
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2014, 09:52:30 PM »
I’ve never had a personal mobile phone.  Got my first mobile with the company many years ago, and never had the need to pay for a separate line.  Got rid of my land line a while back, so the corporate one is it.   Guess it helps that my company’s financial accounting could fill pages in the Antimustachian Wall of Shame and Comedy.  The only time I got called out on excessive usage was roaming changes from a monthly long trip to South America.  It was very excessive, but it was virtually all work related calls.

If you go this route, use google voice or skype to get a number as your back-up forwarded to your work phone.  That way you have a number where you can be reached if you eventually are shit-canned by the company.   You can switch to number to which google voice forwards to a cheap pre-paid cell phone next day.


RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Using work phone for personal use
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2014, 12:31:21 PM »
When I started at my current job I had the option of getting a second phone for work, or porting my number over to their account.  I opted for the latter so I wouldn't have to carry two phones (I don't even like carrying one phone most of the time).  It's worked out fine, but I am relying on them to let me port my number back out whenever I eventually leave, since I've had the same number for over 15 years now and would be annoyed to lose it.  I don't use a lot of data/text/minutes so haven't run into any issues with that.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Using work phone for personal use
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2014, 01:18:19 PM »
Of course, do it, you're a mustachian, aren't you?

I get a monthly stipend of $45, which gives me more control:).

WGH

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Re: Using work phone for personal use
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2014, 01:20:08 PM »
I've used my work cell for personal for years. It's a Verizon iphone and we have unlimited everything so no worries about overages on text or data. Only problem is can't download any apps, music, games, etc. but I don't really care about that. My only concern is the personal texts being able to be viewed. Nothing risqué but I'm sure I've trashed the boss a time or two to my wife...


historienne

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Re: Using work phone for personal use
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2014, 01:29:12 PM »
I assume this is a smartphone?  Sign up for Google Voice (you can even port over your current number).  You will then have separate numbers for your work and personal texts and calls.  You can silence the Google Voice ap separately from the phone's messaging center.

basd

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Re: Using work phone for personal use
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2014, 03:08:19 PM »
I do it the other way round, I use my personal phone and phone number for work-related stuff as well as privately. My employer pays me a monthly fee to cover the costs. Saves me the hassle of two phones and two phone numbers, and I call for free as the reimbursement is twice as high as my monthly fee and I hardly ever exceed the maximum amount of minutes and/or MBs.

I've had no problems with people hassling me about work stuff out of office hours, I tell everybody that I don't answer the phone if I can't or don't feel like it when I'm not at work. I like my job though so I don't mind answering the odd phone call when I'm at home or otherwise out of the office. Plus I'm not 'important' enough to get a lot of phone calls. Which is fine.

Mrs. PoP

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Re: Using work phone for personal use
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2014, 04:30:06 PM »
I err the other way and have always maintained separate work and personal devices as my employers have language in our employment contract stating that any intellectual property developed using company technology or on company time belongs to the employer.  So if you're working on a side project or have plans to, keep it off the company technology.

GGNoob

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Re: Using work phone for personal use
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2014, 04:30:30 PM »
I assume this is a smartphone?  Sign up for Google Voice (you can even port over your current number).  You will then have separate numbers for your work and personal texts and calls.  You can silence the Google Voice ap separately from the phone's messaging center.

+1

Good point. I have a Google Voice on my phone as well. I mainly use it to give to people on Craigslist and use it as a backup phone number when setting up accounts online. I also use GV as my main voicemail because I like the speech to text feature.

Red Beard

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Re: Using work phone for personal use
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2014, 05:10:38 PM »
I err the other way and have always maintained separate work and personal devices as my employers have language in our employment contract stating that any intellectual property developed using company technology or on company time belongs to the employer.  So if you're working on a side project or have plans to, keep it off the company technology.

+1. The part that always deterred me was that my company could review any activity on my phone at any time if they so chose. According to the WSJ article below, most companies fall into that bucket. Not that you would be doing anything unsavory yourself, but you cannot control what other people send - I know I've gotten texts/emails before from friends/family that I wouldn't want my employer reading.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304432604579475303715000912

FrugalZony

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Re: Using work phone for personal use
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2014, 06:03:49 PM »
I have never had a personal cell phone
Ever since I started working, my employers provided a phone.
There were times, when I had to go through the itemized lists and highlight any personal use, as it was considered a benefit in kind and I had to pay taxes on it...personal use never was more than 3-5 EURO during any given month, even though I travelled a lot (I usually used Skype on the computer to communicate with family while travelling)
Since I moved to the US our service covers unlimited everything, except international roaming, which is extra.
So my employer does not care about personal use and I hardly use the phone for personal calls anyways.

Only time I got dinged, was when I was overseas and had a computer crash at 1am in the morning with an important presentation the next morning. So I was on the phone for over an hour with the helpdesk ;) in addition to my regular calls.

Once I FIRE I will feel odd having to pay for a phone, lol!

sleepyguy

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Re: Using work phone for personal use
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2014, 06:51:18 PM »
Both my GF and I both use work phoones for personal use.  Both are unlimited plans so it works out well.  Her has unlimited data as well so we use it as a wifi access point when we're on vacation.

Works out well.  If we leave our companies we'll just get a cheapo pre-paid.

Jags4186

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Re: Using work phone for personal use
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2014, 07:55:37 PM »
If you have a personal number that you've had for a long time definitely make sure you port it to google voice and then let your employer provide you with a new number.  I've seen it many times where people have ported over their personal number and then once they left the company their line was cancelled before they had time to port the number out.  Number lost forever.

SnackDog

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Re: Using work phone for personal use
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2014, 04:23:01 AM »
Have nearly always had a company phone.  Current office also provides service for spouse.  They originally said they were gonna get us a discounted package for the spouse phone but that we would have to pay; so far they have never followed up to ask us to pay a bill.

Personal use of company resources is acceptable as long as it is "incidental use". I almost never talk on the phone and am mindful of restricting big data moves to Wifi.  The big charges are international roaming where our service provider charges a fortune.  All the same, I review the monthly total charge for our department and it's not outrageous.

People in our company have been disciplined for having inappropriate material on their phones (text, photos, videos).  Others carry a second personal one everywhere but I don't really understand why.  Maybe they don't like the app restrictions we are supposed to follow...

DMoney

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Re: Using work phone for personal use
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2014, 05:17:20 AM »
My husband has the option of getting a "work" phone or using his personal phone for work.  He does the latter to avoid the hassle of two phones and expenses a portion of our family plan AT&T bill.    i.e. charges it to his employer

I'm about to start a new job where they will hand me a black berry to carry in addition to my personal iPhone.  Not super excited about it!

Doomspark

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Re: Using work phone for personal use
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2014, 05:46:52 AM »
If you use your personal phone for work-related stuff, there is this to consider:  Should your company be involved in a criminal investigation, your phone may be confiscated by law enforcement. If that happens, it's likely to be a VERY long time before you get it back. And depending on what sort of criminal investigation it is, when you get the phone back, law enforcement may keep the sim card as evidence.

Disclaimer:  I work for a law-enforcement agency, so perhaps I'm a bit jaded. But I have seen people lose their personal phones and their personal computers because they mix their personal and professional technology.  IMNSHO, better to keep 'em separate.

griffin

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Re: Using work phone for personal use
« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2014, 02:51:20 PM »
Really appreciate all the responses! It seems like there are quite a few of you who are using the work phone without issue. I'd love to hear a bit more about google voice from those who are using it: is it generally reliable? Reviews on the interwebs seem to be mixed. Losing my number was one of the things I was saddest about - it'd be awesome if I can keep it!

yandz

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Re: Using work phone for personal use
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2014, 07:10:18 AM »
Another vote for Google Voice. Port your current personal number into Google voice so you don't lose it (I think it is a $20 fee).  All calls can be set to ring through to your work cell phone.  You can set up texts a few different ways, but I use the Google Voice app.  This way you don't lose your number if you change jobs.  Working well for me.

For reliability - sometimes group text messages are spotty, especially if there is a picture involved and I think just from certain carriers - haven't take the time to fully trouble shoot.  But aside from that, no issues. I think it is very reliable.  I don't call out from it, but I receive calls on it and use for text.

MrsSmitty

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Re: Using work phone for personal use
« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2014, 07:32:07 AM »
I've used my work phone as my personal (and only) phone for the last 5 years or so. It's an iPhone that I purchased (so I can take it with me if I leave the company). Work covers the cost of phone plan, text, data. We're basically on one big family plan with the whole company. I pay for any apps, music, etc. The company wanted us all to be accessible 24/7 though I hardly ever get any calls outside of regular hours and only the occasional email that needs an urgent response so I don't mind at all. I don't worry about separating work from personal in terms of texts. It's usually pretty obvious based on who is texting me. I have both my work and personal emails set up on there but I do have to choose which I use to respond to any emails. I am aware that the company may be monitoring what I do on my phone, so I keep it very safe-for-work. No inappropriate apps or web surfing. I don't talk on the phone much except to my mom and a few friends so I've never heard any issue with the minutes I use (though I do know of a few coworkers who've been told to keep it in check). All in all it's been fantastic to only have one phone and one phone number. Most of my (younger) coworkers also use their work phone as their only phone.

m0nk3y

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Re: Using work phone for personal use
« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2014, 09:05:13 AM »
I use my work phone for personal use, but my circumstance might be a bit different.

The company that I work for has (effectively) unlimited everything via pooling and offers to port your personal number, pay ETFs, etc or take over your existing contract when you sign on.

I've kept my personal number as SIP DID number that forwards to my work phone, will probably make the move to google voice soon.