America has seen its share of economic downturns before and will undoubtedly see them again. However, the current economic crisis that this country has been facing has caused many people in government and private industry to face the very real problem of running out of money. Typically, when faced with budget shortfalls and looming deficits, the first solution resorted to is job cuts. Unfortunately, in the economy we find ourselves in today, cutting jobs only fuels the unemployment problem and further damages our economy as a result. A better plan before jumping off the pink bridge is to adjust budgets and control spending. Many cities, municipalities, and governments have ample room to cut costs and keep people employed. One of the areas to consider for review is communications and the use of cell phones.
With the growth of the cell phone industry, many city and state governments did what many private companies did and began supplying cell phones to employees. They did not realize that with the expansion and improvement of cell phone technology and capabilities, the likelihood of cell phone abuse also increased. Employees use the phones for personal use, web browsing, text messaging, and any other available features without regard to additional charges for use of these features. One answer may be to simply restrict what is allowed for employee cell phone use. While that may seem like a logical solution, it probably won’t eliminate the problem or the need for someone to monitor the usage of potentially hundreds of employees, review the bills, identify the problem and the employee, confront the employee, and try to find a solution. That process, in itself, is a waste of time and resources. It also doesn’t eliminate the base per person cost of each phone, which can be very expensive. A better solution would be to go back to something that has proven to be reliable, efficient, durable and cost-effective, and that is the pager.
Pagers are an easy way to cut expensive budgets and still maintain necessary communication with employees. The advances in pagers in recent years are incredible and today’s pagers are no longer simply “pagers”. Today’s pagers are capable of confirming delivery even with basic one-way communication, which may be all many employees need. Additionally, pagers with two-way communication, Internet, and email capabilities are some of the options on the market today. Pagers also allow easy distribution of mass messages to all employees or groups of employees. With pagers there is no fear of mobile phone reception problems as pagers work with a radio frequency instead of mobile service networks. This will eliminate the problem of an employee not being in range and not receiving a critical message. Unlike cell phones, pagers require no charging and are powered by a battery with usage times of months and years, not hours like many of the newer cell phones on the market today. Not only does this eliminate the problem of a dead phone, but it also reduces the use of electricity to charge phones, which in our environmentally conscious age is a very good thing for everyone. Imagine the reduction in electricity use times the sheer number of employees working in government offices, it’s significant. Pagers are also less intrusive in the workplace, as there are no obnoxious songs blaring with every call, pagers are much more discreet and less distracting, creating a more pleasant work environment.
Motorola did a study that showed that nearly 75 percent of all communications had to be one-way, things like “I’m late,” “I’m picking up milk on the way home,” or “Meeting time changed to 3:30.” . The use of pagers would not only simplify message delivery for many employers, it would also eliminate another real problem for businesses today, which is the use of cell phones for personal time. Employees have been shown to spend an average of one hour a day on personal phone calls. Add to that another hour of personal internet use on cell phones and the employer has now just donated two hours of company time and money to the employee per day just to make sure the employee’s Facebook status is updated properly.
Pagers are making a comeback in the business world these days, as employers find cell phones expensive, intrusive, and counterproductive to the workplace, and just another way employees waste time fiddling with the many features . There is no risk of an employee abusing a pager through excessive texting, web surfing, Twitter, Facebook, personal calls, or unauthorized charges. Friends and family are also less likely to call an employee than on a cell phone, ensuring that frivolous phone calls will end and productivity will increase. The other major financial benefit of switching to pagers is the base cost of the equipment and the monthly charges. Providing employees with pagers costs much less than providing a cell phone and eliminates the potential for abuse and overcharging, as is currently the case with cell phones. Pagers are also less expensive and easier to repair.
In this increasingly tight economy, it’s wise to go back to the basics of balancing a budget and cutting out excess spending so that money is available to run programs and perform the functions the government is supposed to perform, as well as keep people employed. Rather than exasperate the economic difficulties facing this country, why not be proactive in trying to save jobs and cut costs where it makes sense by eliminating cell phones and returning to the proven, practical, cost-effective, cell phone-dependent use of cell phones? locator? ? It only makes economic sense.