Why Your Teen’s Smartphone May Be Necessary for Their Summer Job

by Screen Time Team on 11/07/2018
Most teens will argue that they need their smartphones, no matter what, although what they define as “need” is likely not the same as their parents. But when it comes to finding and keeping a job, your teen may well be in the right. Smartphones are becoming more and more useful in the workplace, even if they can be a hindrance to some workplace skills, and parents and teens will need to strike a balance between the rules at home and the demands of the workplace.
Young man working at a fast food restaurant.

Many places of employment have employees use smartphones for processes like timekeeping.

Why Do Teens Need Smartphones For A Job?

Technology has changed everything, and finding a job is no exception. Especially with the jobs teens are usually up for, the application process often involves using a custom app or a website to fill out forms, even with places that conduct on-site interviews. In some cases, the entire process is done online, or new employees are asked to view online training modules through their phones and tablets, which can fall afoul of parental control apps for smartphones.

It also applies to the day-to-day “paperwork” of a job. For example, employees may be expected to sign into an app to confirm their hours or tell their manager what hours they have available this week, or they might need an app to access company tools such as price lookup. In some cases, they even need their smartphones to get paid, as companies are increasingly turning to apps like Venmo and Zelle to pay their employees, rather than go to the expense of printing out and distributing paychecks.

And, of course, let’s not forget that having a smartphone means a manager can quickly reach an employee when they’re needed, so if your teen wants to pick up an extra shift, or at least be accessible for it, they can be reached. So, the phone’s necessary, but how do you balance that against the rules?

Young woman holding up a resume smiling.

The smartphone will be part of the job hunt.

Rules Of The Job

To start with, any parental control apps for smartphones should have a “whitelist” function that will let you approve work-related apps and websites, or permit certain phone numbers to call your teen’s phone. Of course, this depends heavily on the app and its function. For example, if you want to keep your teen from spending their whole paycheck in a day, you might put the paycheck app on your phone instead of theirs, and dole out the money where appropriate.

Similarly, you should discuss with their manager the needs for a smartphone at work; if, for example, teens only need their smartphone for their job when they’re not at work, they’ll likely be too busy to look at their phones in the first place. It’s important to, as much as possible, let teens manage their job on their own, however, as learning to negotiate with supervisors and time management are part of the reason teens get jobs in the first place.

Finally, be ready to ease up on your parental control app, beyond a certain point. Taking a job is a big responsibility, and if a teenager can handle showing up to work and getting the job done, then that should be a factor in the phone rules. Sooner or later they’re going to be full-fledged adults, and giving them more responsibility by slow degrees is the best way to make that transition an easy one. To learn more about smartphones and parental control apps, try Screen Time for free!

Why Your Teen's Smartphone May Be Necessary for Their Summer Job
Article Name
Why Your Teen's Smartphone May Be Necessary for Their Summer Job
Smartphone rules with your teen may need to be amended once they have a job.
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Screen Time
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