In Favor of Separate Devices

Warning: This post contains language, sorry about that.

People will think I’m crazy for purposely buying a second phone dedicated to work, especially when 95% of the time I work at home. But hear me out…

I don’t know how many of you have read your employment contracts in any particular detail, but here’s the gist of what mine says regarding expected privacy:

“I also recognize and agree that I have no expectation of privacy with respect to Company’s telecommunications, networking or information processing systems (including, without limitation, stored computer files, email messages, electronic messages, and voice messages) and that my activity and any files or messages on or using any of those systems may be monitored at any time without notice.”

This is a very broad statement that covers all sorts of things. Since my company adds some extra moola to my paycheck to cover my cell phone usage, it’s pretty easy to make the stretch than any device that has company Email, Slack, or other, can fall under the umbrella here. They’re essentially renting space on my personal mobile device without having to manage phones for a global company - which is smart.

With powerful MDM solutions and the ability for the company to purposefully or accidentally wipe my phone at a moments notice, transfer usage info, personal info, backup photos, etc. it became quite obvious to me that I should maintain a separate device. Not to mention what could be subpoena-able if I were to get wrapped up in a company related lawsuit.

Beyond the privacy issues that are at stake, there’s something near and dear to my heart that becomes very easy to do when you have separate devices:


I draw a very firm line separating my work life from my home life. I walk away from work at the “end of the day” and don’t spend another second thinking about it until the next day. I realize I’m probably in the minority here, but my ability to compartmentalize things in my mind is a blessing in this scenario - even though it drives my wife nuts that I often compartmentalize things and then forget about that compartment.

So, if I have a separate device, I can shut it off or leave it in my office when I’m done with work at the end of the day. It’s less about people reaching out to me and more about stopping myself from grabbing my device and checking for Slack messages real quick. There’s almost never something that can’t wait until tomorrow. For the few things that must happen today, a select few people know my personal number and can reach out there via text to get my attention.

Yes, having two iPhones, with two iCloud accounts (yes I keep that separate too), and two data plans, is expensive and extreme - but man is the peace of mind and hard separation worth it.