A guide to blocking outgoing and incoming calls and texts to improve field-worker productivity

Dec 14, 2020 | 42Gears Team

If you notice people at work sending and receiving calls and texts throughout the day, you’re witnessing a worldwide trend. Unfortunately, the issue won’t go away on its own. Unless managers learn how to block outgoing calls, for example, workers may be tempted to make calls throughout the day.

It stands to reason that worker productivity will improve when their smartphones can’t initiate or receive calls and texts. Making it actually happen, however, is much easier said than done.

One option is to purchase SIM cards that only support mobile data. This completely blocks the ability to call or text, but this may be too restrictive for many employees. Even if many calls and texts are unrelated to work, it would be extreme to assume they were all unnecessary.

If your workplace relies on Android phones, there is a simpler and more scalable option you can use. This is a device lockdown tool called SureLock by 42Gears.

SureLock streamlines the logistics of how to block outgoing calls, and goes further to offer extensive customization options. SureLock can completely block calls and texts, but it can also block selectively. This means you can configure it to your business needs.

Here is what you can do with SureLock, and why it is worth doing. (Note: not every Android device supports every feature. Please ensure that SureLock has the functionality you need for the devices you have.)

SureLock Features

1. Block All Outgoing Calls

  • If phones don’t need to make outbound calls at your business, they don’t have to. You can block making calls based on time and place. If someone needs to make a call, they can leave the office. 
  • Why it matters: In public spaces, a loud call can disrupt everyone. Rather than asking employees to restrain themselves from making calls, it’s better to just sidestep the issue altogether.

2. Block All Incoming Calls

  • Using SureLock, you can block all incoming calls on business smartphones. This can be for specific hours, or when devices are in specific locations.
  • Why it matters: Even the hardest-working employee might have someone call in to distract them. Blocking incoming calls prevents this, and saves employees from worrying about not answering the phone. 

3. Only Block Calls To or From Specific Phone Numbers (Blacklisting)

  • You can blacklist phone numbers on business phones. This means that no one can call that number, or take a call from that number. 
  • Why it matters: Even if employees do have to make business calls, spam callers are a persistent annoyance. However, blacklisting spam phone numbers takes them out of the equation.

4. Only Allow Calls To or From Specific Phone Numbers (Whitelisting)

  • Alternately, you can choose to only allow communication to or from certain approved (or “whitelisted”) phone numbers. This means you can block every number you don’t approve. 
  • Why it matters: If there are many numbers (but not all) that you would like to block, it can be tiring to list them all out. Therefore, the opposite approach of whitelisting might be better, as you only need to specify the few you approve.

5. Auto-Whitelist New Contacts

  • If you trust your workers to put only business contacts on business phones, you can automate the whitelisting process. When employees add contacts, SureLock can automatically whitelist those contacts for your network. 
  • Why it matters: if one person adds a contact, another employee might need to call them, too. Auto-whitelisting grows your network based on the activity of employees you trust.

6. Block Texting or SMS

  • You can block texting of any kind, or you can block just ingoing or outgoing texts (on select devices). 
  • Why it matters: Texting is a major possible distraction. But people still need to receive texts (for example, for two-step authentication). Having flexibility in this regard helps businesses allow texts when necessary, but not just for fun. 

If you are looking for a way to restrict the way employees use smart devices during the day, look no further than SureLock. With a high degree of customization, you can restrict the way workers use devices as much or as little as you want.

The best way to implement SureLock is through SureMDM, a mobile device management solution by 42Gears. SureMDM includes a central console that makes it easy to apply call restrictions and other policies to every device at once. SureMDM includes access to SureLock, making it an excellent value.

Now that you know how to stop outgoing calls (and much more), the next step is to get started. You can begin with a free trial of SureMDM (which includes SureLock) today!

Block calls and texts with SureLock today!