Hundreds of millions worldwide have worked from home for part or all of 2020 so far – and for many, this means that home feels like an office, and personal devices seem like office tools. For anyone who needs a clear distinction between work and home, this can be a challenge. How do you maintain a good work-life balance when you’re supposed to be using your personal phone for work?
There are many great guides to how you can organize your life effectively while working from home (you can find two excellent examples here and here), but fewer about how specifically to approach device use in this context.
Today we’ll focus on how to use Android’s work profile feature to compartmentalize your work and personal activities on a single Android device, achieving a good work-life balance.
What is the Android Work Profile feature?
A work profile on an Android device lets you securely use your phone for business and personal use at the same time.
An Android work profile creates a virtual space within your device for everything on your phone relating to work. If content on your phone is not related to work, you get to do almost anything you want with it. If it’s in the virtual workspace (or container, hence the often-used term containerization), your business controls what’s in that space.
Why would a business want to control part of my phone?
Creating a work profile represents an agreement of trust between you and your company. You agree to do everything in your power to keep your phone from getting stolen or hacked; in return, your company lets you have the convenience of working from your own devices.
The tools that businesses can apply to the work profile focus on ensuring you keep your device safe. This may include location tracking and password policy settings, to make sure you set a good password that deters would-be thieves.
Anything in the container can be monitored or modified by your company. This means apps might download in the background without your initiating it, or you might be forbidden from taking screen captures while in the container.
How exactly does this help me maintain a work-life balance?
Many people prefer working on their own devices – the more you know something, the more comfortable you are at using it. This means many people are glad to use their own devices in work profile mode, as they get the ease-of-use associated with a familiar device and a set of strict work-life boundaries.
Plus, you likely know from first-hand experience that remote work follows a looser schedule than in-person work. You might find yourself splitting time between personal errands and work during the day; if this is the case, being able to use your own devices is very valuable as you can jump between tasks quickly.
How would I get this set up?
It goes without saying, but you will need to talk with your company in order to set up an Android work profile. The easiest way to set this up across many devices at once is to use a mobile device management solution that works with Android Enterprise. Using Android Enterprise, your company can set up work profiles for everyone in your network easily and remotely. No in-person set-up required!
Is now a good time to ask about this?
Now is an excellent time to ask about this, because the upcoming release of Android 11 will focus on making it even easier to implement and manage an Android work profile.
Even five years ago, we noted the value of what was then called Android For Work, and the technology has made huge strides towards facilitating a better work-life balance than ever before.
How should my company set this up?
For an easy and quick infrastructure to put in place for improving work-life balance, look no further than SureMDM by 42Gears. SureMDM is an affordable, powerful way to monitor and manage dozens, hundreds, or thousands of devices at once, be they company-owned or employee-owned devices.