With the rise of social media and smartphone ownership, contract security companies are struggling to get their employees to abide by their policies around on-the-job phone usage.
Most security companies have well-documented policies on the issue, but enforcing them is especially difficult.
Some cases have been highly documented and publicized (such as the Paul Flart saga). The New York Times recently published an article around the rise of a new social media app called TikTok and its popularity in the security industry.
TikTok allows users to post video clips up to 15 seconds long, categorizing them with hashtags. The #security hashtag has over 45,000,000 views.
In the article, security guards theorize the reason it’s becoming so popular is because they are bored on the job.
On the other hand, one security company owner suggested the trend could give way to undermining the respect of uniformed security guards.
Still, while rampant social media usage has become an obvious issue for security companies, an employee having a smartphone has also become increasingly important.
With the rise of guard management apps, it’s starting to become mandatory that the guard have a smartphone on them at all times.
Could California Set a Trend?
Guard companies in California are especially feeling the heat. Recent legislation now requires reimbursement for any phone usage while on the job.
Popular ways of dealing with the new laws are to provide an earmarked monthly amount for cell phone reimbursement, but some companies are providing company-issued cell phones to their employees.
While the latter method is obviously cost-prohibitive, it does allow for a greater ability to monitor and enforce cell phone policies related to personal usage on the job.
As it stands today, California is the only state with such laws, but history suggests more states will follow suit with compensation laws favoring the employee.
As this trend continues to unfold, we’ll be keeping a close eye on how guard companies are tackling the issue.