Most of us use our mobile devices every day – to keep in touch with friends, order things we need, share our photos and lots of other activities. But we need to make sure that using these devices at work doesn’t get in the way of us delivering great service to our customers, expose us to risk, or stop us getting the job done.
Our customers and members trust us to protect the data that we hold about them. We all have a role to play in making this happen. Mobile devices create a risk to this data, as they can be used to copy and share information.
Just so it’s clear, when we say mobile devices we mean mobile phones, smart phones, tablets, smart watches, hand held devices and all other devices that can be used to view, capture and share information and includes both personal devices and those given to you by Co-op.
What’s appropriate use of mobile devices at work will depend on where you work. This Policy sets out general principles about what we all need to do with mobile devices to make sure we’re all doing our bit to protect our customers’ information – but there’s more specific information in the Appendix if you work in Legal Services, CBS, Insurance, Food stores, Logistics or Funeralcare.
This Policy applies to everyone working with us. If you see anyone using a mobile device that makes you concerned about security or safety, try to speak to them directly, tell a manager or raise your concerns to the whistleblowing line on 0800 374199 or wrs.expolink.co.uk/coop.
We all have a role to play in protecting the data we hold about our members, customers and colleagues. Just so everyone’s clear, any breach of this Policy (and the appendices) may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including summary dismissal. See the Disciplinary Policy for more information. The principles of this policy apply wherever you are working from.
If you’re using a personal or Co-op device for work, be aware of the Acceptable Use Policy and Social Media Policy, as these still apply.
Using a mobile device at work should never get in the way of getting the job done. No-one wants to deal with someone who’s distracted on a mobile device - and it also doesn’t look very professional – so you shouldn’t use your device in front of customers unless you’re using it to help answer their query. Keep personal use for your breaks.
It’s your responsibility to look after your mobile device. If you do use your own device at work Co-op doesn’t accept responsibility for any loss or damage to your personal device while at work.
If you use a Co-op device for chargeable activity such as sending text messages from abroad, entering competitions or donating to charitable causes please note that the charges for this will be sent onto yourself. Co-op mobile devices shouldn’t be used to access sites such as online gambling sites.
It is now illegal for motorists to use a handheld mobile device under virtually any circumstances while driving. If you choose to do this and are caught it could result in a fine of up to £1000, 6 points on your licence or a full ban.
You must not use a device in your hand for any reason when driving whether online or offline e.g. you must not text, make calls, take photos or videos or browse the internet. This also applies if you are stopped at lights and queueing in traffic. Full details can be found at Using a phone, sat nav or other device when driving - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
The Co-op doesn’t expect you to make or receive calls while you’re driving. If you’re employed as a driver or you need to drive for work, and you want to make calls while you are driving, you must only do this if you have a legally compliant hands-free system and it’s safe to do so. You mustn't hold your device and the device must not block your view of the road and the traffic ahead.
If you work in Funeralcare or Logistics, there’s more specific information in the Appendix.
Authorised and essential users
Some colleagues are given a Co-op mobile device because they need to use it for work purposes. These devices have settings applied to ensure that they protect the security of our data. These colleagues are known as essential users.
We know that other colleagues use their personal mobile devices on occasion to help them get their job done. These colleagues are defined as authorised users.
This Policy still applies to authorised and essential users – so you shouldn’t be using your mobile device where it is unsafe to do so, in a restricted security area or where you could disturb other colleagues. Be mindful that other colleagues might see you using your mobile device and not know that it is for a legitimate work purpose.
Things to think about
If you are not authorised to use your mobile device at work but need to be contactable in case of an emergency then speak to your manager about how people can get in touch with you.
Appendix 1 - Insurance, Regulated and High Risk Areas
This Policy applies to all colleagues who work in Legal Services, all Contact Centre teams within the Co-op Business Services (CBS) or one of our designated customer data areas in Insurance. It also applies if you are carrying out your work remotely. If you’re not sure, then just check with your manager. This Policy also applies to anyone visiting one of these areas.
If you’re working in, or visiting one of these areas, then you can’t use your mobile device, or have it out on your desk, unless it’s an authorised device (see ‘authorised mobile devices below’). This includes sending/receiving texts or calls, taking photographs or videos, using social media or playing games.
So, if you’ve got a locker then put it in there while you’re working. If not, then it needs to be switched off and kept in your pocket or bag. Just so it’s clear, mobile devices shouldn’t be left out on desks, even if they’re switched off.
- Where you can use mobile devices
You can use your personal mobile device in the breakout areas, before or after your shift or during your break.
- Authorised mobile devices
If you’ve got a mobile device that’s provided by the Co-op for use in your role, then you can use this in the designated customer data area. The security settings we apply mean that it doesn’t pose a risk to customer data.
If you need to use your personal device to deliver your role, then this needs to be agreed by your manager. Then it’s an authorised device and you can use it in the designated customer data area.
That said, you shouldn’t use your mobile device where it is unsafe, or whether you could disturb other colleagues.
If you’ve got an external visitor coming into a customer data area, then it’s your responsibility to make sure they know about the Mobile Devices Policy and follow it while they are with you. In line with the Physical Access Control Policy, you should make sure you’re with your visitor at all times.
Appendix 2 - Co-op Food Stores
Mobile devices can be helpful in getting things done in store. But remember that customers expect our full attention when in our stores, so be careful not to get distracted by using mobile devices.
We have computers and tablets in store that you can use for tasks related to your job such as reading policies on How do I. But you can use your own device to do these as well if you want. Enter the code on this page on your own device for access to How do I. You can also use your own device to access the variety of support the Co-op offers you as a colleague, such as Lifeworks and our wellbeing services, but this must not get in the way of you getting the job done.
If you do use your own device to do work-related tasks the Co-op doesn’t take any liability for the loss or damage of your mobile device. You are responsible for your own device so make sure you keep it safe.
You must not use your own device on the shop floor for personal reasons such as: - sending or receiving text messages - taking or receiving calls - taking photographs or videos - using social media or playing games - listening to music
We want everyone to be safe so if you need to call 999 in an emergency, you can do this on your personal device anywhere in the store.
You can use your device for personal use in the break-out areas, before or after your shift or during your break. Remember, if you’re posting on social media, make sure you read the Social Media Policy.
Appendix 3 - Co-op Logistics
We take the safety of our colleagues, visitors and anyone else working with us on site very seriously, so it’s important that we all look after each other and aren’t distracted by mobile devices while at work. This Policy applies to everyone working in or visiting a site.
- Where you can use mobile devices
For everyone’s safety, mobile devices may only be used in the designated ‘safe areas’ identified in your depot, unless you’re using a Co-op mobile device to carry out a specific work-related task. These may include break out areas, canteens and office environments. If you’re unsure where they are then please check with your manager. They may be different in each site, so if in doubt please ask.
While you’re working in the warehouse, you can’t use your personal mobile device on the warehouse floor and you mustn’t use it when you’re operating manual handling equipment. If you receive an urgent call you may answer this, but only in the designated ‘safe areas’.
You’re responsible for protecting your own and everyone else’s safety while you’re on site. You can use your personal mobile device in the break-out areas, before or after your shift or during your break.
If you’re employed as a driver, we know there are times when you may need to make or receive a call while driving. We don’t expect you to do this, but you can choose to do so if you have a legally compliant hands-free system or Blue-tooth device, and it’s safe to do so. You must not use your mobile device to send or view texts, emails, photos, videos or access the internet whilst driving.
When you need to make or receive calls while driving, you must be aware of the increased road safety risk that any distraction from driving brings and ensure you follow the guidelines below: - where possible plan your route to allow for breaks to make and receive calls, especially where the call is known about in advance and is likely to be lengthy or detailed - only make calls to pre-programmed numbers in the phone memory - assess the risk the road/traffic conditions present before making or receiving a call. If you feel in any way that you’re placing yourself or others at risk, you shouldn’t make/receive the call but find the next safe place to pull over to make the call - keep calls as short as possible and if at any time you feel that you’re not in full control of the vehicle then end the call.
You can use a hands-free phone as a Satnav, but only while securely held in a cradle and the route has been programmed before the journey. If you need to input new directions, you should only do so when parked in a safe place.
If you’ve got an external visitor coming to the site, then it’s your responsibility to make sure they know about the Mobile Devices Policy and follow it while they’re with you. In line with the Physical Access Control Policy, you should make sure you’re with your visitor at all times.
Appendix 4 - Co-op Funeralcare
Using mobile devices helps us to co-ordinate the arrangements for a funeral or put things right when things don’t quite go to plan. But we need to make sure that we use them appropriately and sensitively in each situation. This Policy gives guidance that we all need to follow to make sure we give the very best level of service to our families.
- Arranging a funeral
When you’re arranging a funeral with a family, whether in their home or at one of our funeral homes, your mobile device should not get in the way of getting the job done and giving good client service.
You can use your device to help make arrangements – for example contacting third parties – but you should keep your use to a minimum while you’re with a family.
You should make sure that your ringtone is appropriate for the sensitive situation you’re dealing with or make sure your phone is in silent mode whilst you’re arranging.
- At a funeral
It’s important that we maintain a professional and dignified environment for our families whilst we carry out a funeral.
You may have a mobile device on you while out on a funeral and use it if needed to help a funeral run smoothly – for example if you’re held up on the way to a funeral, overrunning on a funeral which could compromise the next funeral or limo pick-up, problems at a hospital collecting a deceased. But you should keep it switched off and in your pocket, to use in case of emergencies – don’t put this on vibrate as this is not silent.
You should not use a mobile device when you’re dealing with a client, outside religious buildings, crematoriums or cemeteries or anywhere where you are visible to the public.
To protect your safety and that of our clients and the public, you should not use a mobile device while you are driving – unless it’s an emergency. If you do use a mobile device in an emergency this must be via a hands-free system, or you should pull over where it is safe to do so.