Being in your first official business role can be extremely exciting. You’re fresh out of school and have been waiting on the moment you’ll get that “You’re Hired!” callback. You start at your new company and they hand over a company laptop and phone for you to use, with a set of rules and regulations to go with it.
Company property isn’t your property, that is always the first rule to remember, but you should always take care of it as though you paid the big bucks for it. Here are a few rules for using company property that everyone should remember:
The Phone Isn’t YOUR Phone
The company has provided you with a phone to answer company calls. Those calls can be from the employees, the employers, or customers. You don’t pay the bill for that phone – the company does – which means if it is company related you should be answering the phone. Company property is to be used for company services only, while it is the phone you’re using on a daily basis, there still rules and regulations one must follow in order to keep access to the product and also their job. Using company property can sometimes get people in a lot of trouble because some start getting the attitude of “well, I’m using it all the time so it must be mine” wrong! When you leave that company, the phone, computer, and car does not leave the property with you – unless you want to be charged for theft.
A colleague was telling me about someone who had a company phone and could not understand why they were required to answer calls regarding the company on that phone and not to send everyone to their office line. The reason the company provides employees with these pieces of property is that they know their customers will need to get in contact with the different departments.
Company Property Is for Company Business
Employees also need to be careful regarding what they are doing on that companies property, especially if it does not pertain to work, and this also goes for desktops. I started bringing my laptop to work on Wednesdays to participate during #Nextchat on Twitter. My boss knows what I’m doing, but I kept thinking the IT Department is going to start thinking, “This chick is on Twitter a lot!” We’ve heard the stories of people being found with pornography on their company computers ,or, because I watch the ID Channel, googling certain things on their company property, thinking they won’t be caught because it’s not on their home computers.
Keep Your Personal and Educational Emails in Your Personal Email Account
Email is another sensitive topic when it comes to company property. If you’re communicating with someone for your own knowledge or advancement, have your own email address to contact that person through. I went through a tough time switching over a lot of my email addresses from my company email to my personal email address. No request came from my boss – this is just something I learned very early on, especially when I decided to start blogging.
Companies provide employees with devices to provide their customers with more access to their organization. HR is one of the most important departments that will more than likely be provided with at least a company phone, because you never know when something is going to happen, and we are literally always on call. If you’re a salaried employee and are being provided with these devices, it is because the company is expecting you to take care of their customer or employees, but also because the company is putting trust into you, the person they hired, that you’ll go above and beyond to get things handled.
So handle those tools and devices with care!