Staff Mobile Device use

Effective date: March 20, 2012

Revised January 2018

Relevant Legislation:

Please refer to Privacy policy.

Intent:

LOFT Community Services is committed to providing staff with appropriate communication devices to promote safety in the workplace, to be accessible to other service providers and management and to assist with service delivery and efficiency.

The intent of this policy is to provide guidelines and requirements around the use of mobile communication devices provided by LOFT in the workplace and used during work hours. These are outlined in detail as communication is a key aspect of our work.

Definitions:

Not applicable to this policy.

Policy:

All staff that are required to be accessible during the day and are out in the community for a significant amount of their workday will be provided with the appropriate communication device.  These devices (phones) will be LOFT property.  Access to data services on the communication devices will also be provided to identified staff who spend significant time out of the office and for whom timely access to secure email is of benefit to their work and the organization. LOFT reserves the right to disconnect devices or disable services without notification if necessary.

Personal Calls

Personal calls during work are discouraged.  Individuals are therefore asked to make personal calls on non-work time, wherever possible, regardless of whether the employee is using a LOFT or personal communication device.  Employees are to ensure that friends and family members are aware of the organization’s policy.  It is recognized that, on occasion, personal calls do need to occur to address personal emergency situations.  However, there cannot be excessive personal calls during work hours, regardless of the phone used.

Long Distance

Employees are permitted to use LOFT’s mobile communication devices only if they are work related.  All work related long distance calls need to be recorded and submitted monthly as directed by the finance department.  It is the Program Director’s responsibility to review the bills monthly and to submit appropriate documentation regarding long distance calls.

Driving safety

In accordance with the law, LOFT maintains that individuals not use their mobile communication device while operating a vehicle. If staff receives a call while driving, they should either let it go to voicemail, refrain from answering, or use a hands free device.

Other precautions to be taken while driving are:

  • Let voicemail pick up messages and respond later
  • Purchase/use a hands free device or headset
  • Never take notes or text while driving

Loss of device

The organization is not liable for the loss or damage of any employee’s personal mobile communication device.  If a LOFT–owned mobile communication device is lost, report this immediately to your Program Director. The access to the mobile device will be shut down immediately.

Care for device

Employees are expected to take reasonable care of their mobile communications device. If an employee’s mobile communication device is lost, stolen, or destroyed through gross negligence, the employee may be required to replace it at their own expense, at the discretion of their immediate supervisor.

Procedures

Permitted calls

Staff are to refrain from using LOFT phones to call 411 unless absolutely necessary. Long distance calls made from a Mobile Communication device will be reimbursed only if approved by the Program Director/Senior Director.

While working from a fixed location, use of a mobile communication device is discouraged. Staff are encouraged to initiate calls through a landline and direct callers to the LOFT line with the staff’s extension whenever possible.

How often to check messages

LOFT’s mobile communication device is required to be on during working hours and messages are to be checked as agreed upon with the Program Director. Staff are required to respond as soon as feasibly possible to a cellular call or as directed by the voicemail message.

Equipment problems

Any equipment problems with communication devices should be reported as soon as possible to technical support services.

Password, Privacy and Safety                                                 

All users of Mobile Communication devices must protect access to the data on the unit by using the password security feature of the unit. Staff agree to never disclose their password to anyone. All numbers for LOFT-owned Mobile Communication Devices shall be kept in a locked and secured location and maintained by the Program Director. Staff agree never to exchange devices with other staff members without explicit approval from LOFT IT.

Client health information cannot be shared via text at any time.

Return of the Mobile Communication Device

Upon ending employment with LOFT, an employee is required to return any LOFT-owned mobile communication device to their supervisor.  The Program Director is responsible for ensuring the return of all devices to Technical Services Department.

Client Service

All communication with service users must be done on a LOFT-owned mobile device unless approved by the staff’s Program Director.

Text content:  Any emails and texts to service users and community partners are to be professional in nature.  Text conversations that have occurred will be recorded in the Client information System and their content audited regularly by the supervisor.

Photos:    Explicit consent is required for photography and for sound or video recording of a client.

Professionalism and Boundaries:  E-mail and text message based communication can often be perceived as being more informal in nature than other forms of communication. Staff, not LOFT’s service users, are responsible for setting and maintaining clear and appropriate boundaries in all forms of communication while using their mobile device.  The Program Director may advise staff to turn off their LOFT phone when not during work hours.

Contract:  Staff will ‘contract’ with service users at the commencement of the professional relationship regarding the use of mobile phones and text-based communication.

The ‘contract’ should include:

  1. The type of information that can be exchanged through text
  2. The amount of notice required to change or cancel appointments and how appointments can be changed or cancelled
  3. How quickly a text or email will be responded to by both parties
  4. Staff work hours and a plan on what the service user is to do when the staff is not available or it is after work hours
  5. When the staff or service user will not be picking up their cell phone or answering texts
  6. Service user should be aware that any records can be subpoenaed including records of communication via email and text
  7. Shared understanding regarding the cost considerations to service users of sending text messages
  8. Shared understanding that email and texts do not allow for visual cues in communication and can be misinterpreted.  A process should be outlined of what would occur if a party is concerned or upset by a message between staff and the service user.
  9. Security of the service user’s device and who might have access to the mobile device.
  10. Agreement of what the staff will do if a service user sends a text that causes the staff to worry that the service user may harm themselves or others.

 

Additional Policies

  • Roaming policy
    • If travelling abroad for work-related purposes, employees should be mindful that roaming charges vary considerably and are generally expensive. Every effort should be made to minimise costs during that time.
    • Roaming charges that have not been pre-approved by LOFT will be paid for by the employee
    • Staff will not download any apps that have not been explicitly approved by LOFT.
    • Staff will not stream or download any music or video that is not directly required for their work at LOFT.
    • Staff may be asked to justify monthly bills.
    • LOFT reserves the right to make the appropriate deductions from payroll for any amounts in excess of the monthly threshold. Staff may be asked to justify specific single call charges.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

LOFT grants its employees the privilege of using their own smartphones for work purposes. This option is extended to all LOFT staff members on LOFT’s Skype for Business system as well as staff members whose jobs do not require that their mobile phone number be provided to clients. LOFT reserves the right to revoke this privilege at any time if the policies and procedures outlined in this document are not observed.

This policy is intended to protect the security and integrity of LOFT’s data and technology infrastructure. LOFT’s employees must agree to the terms and conditions set forth in this policy in order to be able to connect their devices to the company network. Applicable policies set forth in the rest of this document also apply to BYOD even if not explicitly stated.

Acceptable Use

  • LOFT defines acceptable use as activities that directly or indirectly support the organization.
  • All work-related activity must occur within the secure mobile management container installed on your device. Any LOFT data being stored or transmitted outside of this container is strictly prohibited.
  • Staff members on LOFT’s Skype for Business system must provide their LOFT phone number rather than their personal phone number when dealing with any LOFT-related business.

Devices and Support

  • Supported smartphones are subject to case-by-case approval and are subject to change. Currently supported smartphones as of the time of writing are limited to the following:
    • iPhone 5 and newer
    • Android devices running Android 4.0 and newer
    • Support by IT is strictly limited to connection to LOFT’s mobile device management software. No other support will be provided.
    • Devices must be presented to IT for proper provisioning and configuration of the aforementioned mobile device management software before they can access the network.

Reimbursement

  • LOFT will reimburse the employee a predetermined amount every month, based on the phone usage that is expected by LOFT. This is subject to change and may be revaluated if the employee’s job requirements change. The current monthly reimbursement rates are as follows:
    • Basic phone – $10
    • Phone and data – $40
    • Outside of the predetermined reimbursement, LOFT will not reimburse the employee for any other charges. It is the employee’s responsibility to ensure that their phone plan provides a sufficient usage allowance for their requirements at LOFT.

Security

  • In order to prevent unauthorized access, all LOFT data is locked into a password protected, secure container. This container locks immediately after inactivity.
  • Rooted or ‘jailbroken’ devices are strictly forbidden from accessing the network.
  • Smartphones that are not included on LOFT’s list of supported devices are not allowed to connect to the network.
  • Smartphones, tablets, and other devices belonging to employees that are for personal use only are not allowed to connect to the network.
  • LOFT may initiate a Selective Wipe of data on the phone if the device is lost, the employee’s employment is terminated (either by himself/herself or by LOFT), or if IT detects a data or policy breach. This selective wipe will be limited to data inside LOFT’s secure container and any other apps that fall under LOFT’s management.

Risks, Liabilities, and Disclaimers

  • The employee’s personal phone number remains the property of the employee, but will be listed as an official mobile phone number in the staff directory for staff members not on LOFT’s Skype for Business system.
  • While IT will take every precaution to prevent the employee’s personal data from being lost in the event of a remote wipe, LOFT does not guarantee that no data loss will occur. It is the employee’s responsibility to take additional precautions to ensure that they retain the data they need.
  • LOFT reserves the right to disconnect devices or disable services without notification.
  • Lost or stolen devices must be reported to LOFT within 24 hours. Employees are responsible for notifying their mobile carrier immediately upon loss of a device.
  • The employee is expected to use his or her devices in an ethical manner at all times and adhere to the company’s acceptable use policy as outlined above.
  • The employee is personally liable for all costs associated with his or her device.
  • The employee assumes full liability for risks including, but not limited to, the partial or complete loss of company and personal data due to an operating system crash, errors, bugs, viruses, malware, and/or other software or hardware failures, or programming errors that render the device unusable.
  • LOFT reserves the right to take appropriate disciplinary action up to and including termination for noncompliance with this policy.