Personal Phone, Professional Use?

Dr Stuart Woolley
CodeX
Published in
5 min readJul 5, 2023

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The unspoken pressure your employer exerts for installing business apps on your personal smartphone.

Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels

A short missive, nay rant, on what I term “corporate expectation”.

We’ve all been subject to the sinister variations of doctrine that emanate from the denizens of notional management and emperor automatons of HR, flows through the brutally totalitarian channels of corporate communication, and gradually immerses us up to our necks on a very regular basis.

It’s commonly forbidden to discuss salary or benefits, call out your project manager for their childlike misunderstanding of how to run a real world project, disagree with company direction, or even ask for more resources as “the CTO knows better²”.

It’s also commonly forbidden to install personal applications, or apps if you’re below a certain age, on a company device.

Fair enough, I say, they’re an infiltration vector of course and any self-respecting company (no matter how bad the IT operatives are, and they can be pretty bad) should be preventing this kind of tomfoolery under punishment of the usual forced defenestration (or having to have lunch with the project managers).

Alas, it doesn’t work the other way around.

Many’s the time I see people with their own personal devices installing business applications so that they can do their jobs more effectively.

This may be something as innocuous as Outlook so that you can read company mail while you’re remote working and on the toilet — as we all have the pressure to perform both in the can and on the job, so to day.

Or it may be the usual ‘collaboration’ nightmare of Teams so at least if you’re walking between conference rooms, hiding in a cupboard, or picking up the kids from school that you don’t miss the latest updates on how your project manager managed to move a task in Jira or how the CTO calls you at 4:59pm for a ‘quick’ chat.

That I’d definiely call going “beyond expectations,” in HR’s bizarre high entropy parlance, from an employee point of view. But, at least it’s an optional task and we’re not required to do it — we just do it to be more efficient and out of a misguided sense of loyalty⁴.

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Dr Stuart Woolley
CodeX

Worries about the future. Way too involved with software. Likes coffee, maths, and . Would prefer to be in academia. SpaceX, Twitter, and Overwatch fan.