Which is better, one cell phone or two?

It’s a trend that has been simmering for a while. I’m talking about people carrying multiple phones. There will be one phone that people use for their own stuff, and another one supplied by their workplace. But is this really a good trend, or something that should go away?

Why your company makes you carry a second phone

The second cell phone is a power move by your IT department. Maybe that sounds like a bad thing, but it isn’t. The IT department wants to make sure their networks don’t go down, and they want to make sure you can’t put some malware on your work cell phone that affects the entire company.

Chances are, your IT director isn’t just being a jerk. Chances are they’ve had a problem before and they’re trying to make sure they don’t have one again. So they put an app on your work phone that stops you from installing the other apps you really want. This makes you want to get your own phone just to use those apps. And that’s where we find ourselves now.

This trend is picking up steam as more and more companies keep moving away from “traditional” work phone systems. In the 2010s, companies moved quickly away from real landlines to VOIP  and SIP services. The first generation of these were designed to look just like regular desk phones with the kind of services you’d want from that kind of device.

As time moved on, more and more companies moved to systems that use smartphones instead of desk phones. This is a lot more compatible with the way people work today. People don’t sit at their desks as much and they need to be in contact all the time.

Why what you’re doing might make your IT person upset

People don’t like switching phones. I get it. So they find ways to load up their office apps on the phone they use. They add a VPN, connect their email to their personal phones, even load up their office phone app as an alternative. Of course this makes the “office supplied phone” kind of useless and also means your IT department’s careful planning all goes out the window.

But let’s be honest, that’s how people want to work.

The evolution of BYOD

BYOD was a pretty new term when I first wrote about it 2012. A lot of offices didn’t let you install your email on your phone back then. And, having two cell phones is really just another way to stop the spread of BYOD.

Obviously there has to be some balance because people are going to want to use their own devices and also occasionally use those devices to goof off. No one is working 24/7, right? But on the other hand, plenty of people make dumb decisions on their personal devices and companies have a right to be protected.

The best solutions use complex filters to track files going into and out of company networks and block sites that have harmful content on them. This kind of software is expensive, but when it’s put in properly, companies can worry less about supplying locked-down cell phones and feel more comfortable letting users choose the devices they want.

Start by choosing the right phone system

It’s a lot more comfortable for IT departments to stop requiring dedicated cell phones when you have the right system in place. You can get a new SIP phone system from Signal Connect’s Business Enterprise Systems professionals. Starting with the right system lets your IT people bake security right in from the beginning, and gives employees more options. You can keep security strong without the high cost of extra phones.

Call BES at 866-726-4182 or, if it’s after East Coast business hours, fill out the form below. Generally someone will respond within 24 hours.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 6,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.