Using Your iPhone For Work Will Cost You An Average Of $1,089 Each Month

Using Your iPhone For Work Will Cost You An Average Of $1,089 Each Month

Using an iPhone or iPad for work can result in some truly nasty bills.

While bring your own device (BYOD) programs that encourage employees to use their personal iPhones, iPads, and other devices in the office increases productivity and employee satisfaction, the trend is also turning those employees into workaholics. That’s not entirely a new realization – we’ve covered the potential impact of the BYOD trend on the work/life balance before (including a recent study that showed that BYOD programs actually improve that balance for IT professionals).

The latest research on BYOD’s impact on workers shows two additional insights – a significant number of employees are footing the bill (sometimes a very big bill)  for mobile data service while on the road for work.
The new data comes from iPass, a company devoted to offering mobile professionals secure and consistent Wi-Fi access at sites around the world. iPass publishes a quarterly report called the iPass Global Mobile Workforce Report. The most recent report was released last week and shined some light on the toll that BYOD takes on many mobile workers.

The most shocking finding is the average cost that BYOD programs leads to each month — $1,089 — largely for mobile data roaming fees.

While that’s the average cost, 43% of mobile professionals have encountered an expensive data roaming bill in the past year. On average, mobile workers see an expensive bill 1.4 times each year.

81% of mobile professionals said that mobile data roaming charges are too high and 23% said that such experiences have led them to turn off whenever they are traveling for work.

Nearly one in five (18%) mobile workers report that they pay their entire bill for mobile calling and data use, making BYOD an expensive proposition when traveling for work.

A similar number (17%) said that their companies pay for mobile roaming and, as a result, don’t know if they are being charged fairly or not.

That unseen cost can add up quickly, and BYOD undermines the ability for companies to keep mobile service costs down – even when the company is paying the bill (or a portion of it) for its employees. That’s because individual employees don’t have the negotiating power of many companies, particularly larger enterprises. One or two devices and related data plans simply don’t get the bulk sayings or business clout that 500 or more devices and plans can achieve.

Not surprisingly, four out of five (80%) of workers who travel for business prefer to rely on Wi-Fi and many (85%) feel their company should foot the bill for commercial Wi-Fi services.

The report also reiterates the fact that many companies don’t implement adequate security and user training as part of their BYOD programs. 25% of businesses are still failing to demand security features on BYOD devices overall and 19% don’t require security on devices that access corporate networks and data. Meanwhile, 48% of mobile workers admit they bypass IT restrictions in order to access corporate data.

As far as the work/life balance – employees reported working as much as 20 hours per week outside the office as a result of BYOD initiatives and one-third feel that they never fully disconnect from work and technology. Despite those numbers, a large portion (42%) of mobile workers are willing to sacrifice personal time for the flexibility that BYOD offers them.

  • matrix3D

    This is why you NEVER use your personal device for work purposes (unless you work for yourself). I don’t even put my work e-mail account on my iPhone because of this reason. My attitude is that if the company wants me to be “always available” then they’re going to have to foot the bill for a separate device that has a separate phone number and data plan. If they refuse to provide one, I refuse to do any sort of work outside of normal working hours.

  • technochick

    1200 persons surveyed from their client pool

    And it actually says that out of those folks there was a ‘high’ monthly bill on average 1.4 times a year win the average of THAT being the $1089 figure, that’s a little different than what Ryan says.

    They also point out that those costs are often due to things like folks not bothering to turn on wifi.

    Dont rely on Ryan’s typical hit whoring FUD, go read the report for yourself.

  • Bryan Dobson

    Is this for real? I use my iPhone for work and with some thought put into what plan I have I pay $113 (that’s including tax) per month. Occasionally it might balloon to $150 on a very rare occasion.

  • Rob Klaproth

    Only a complete MORON would rack up a $1000 dollar cell phone bill. I highly doubt that’s the average, more like the extreme case ONE of the people surveyed.

  • David Noble

    Well chalk this up to another author prone to massive exaggeration that I will not bother reading again. Nice hack work, Mr. Faas.

  • extra_medium

    I hope we are keeping in mind that this “report” was created by a company who wants to sell a service that would solve all the supposed issues the report discovered. This article kind of treats them like an unbiased 3rd party.

    Blueshirtcompany.com reports that red shirts can cause cancer!

About the author

Ryan FaasRyan Faas is a technology journalist and consultant living in upstate New York who has written extensively about Apple, business and enterprise IT, and the mobile industry. In addition to writing for Cult of Mac, he is a contributor to Computerworld, InformIT, and Peachpit Press. In a previous existence he was a healthcare IT director as well as a systems and network administrator. Follow Ryan on Twitter and Google +

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