The rapid rise of mobile and handheld devices has blurred the lines between employees’ home and work lives, as well as the lines between individual devices. In a world where one’s phone, tablet and laptop are all constantly talking to one another, it’s hard to ever feel disconnected. This near-constant connection isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however; if properly utilized, allowing employees to bring their own device (BYOD) to work can have positive ramifications for everyone involved.
More and more companies are implementing BYOD policies. As long as it’s done correctly, these policies can lead to increased morale and productivity and have only a handful of manageable downsides.
BYOD Strengthens Employees’ Connection to Their Work
When an employee uses the same device for personal and professional reasons, a few things happen. Critics of BYOD policies will say that allowing employees to work from personal devices invites outside distractions into the workplace. This is a defensible but ultimately flawed argument; the advent of the smart phone means that the modern employee is always connected to the outside world to some degree, but BYOD is a double-edged sword in this regard. The modern young employee may occasionally check social media at work- but they’re also much more likely to answer your work-related email at midnight on a Thursday.
Implementation of BYOD policies blends work and personal time, but doesn’t sacrifice either. As long as expectations are clear and employees are properly motivated, there shouldn’t be significant issues.
BYOD Opens the Door to Remote Workdays
A popular trend among businesses is implementing remote workdays, during which employees are encouraged to work from home or another location of their choosing. Of course, to maximize the effectiveness of remote days employees should be able to work effectively from their personal devices. If regular workdays also fully incorporate their personal devices, employees will be able to make the most of their remote days, and in some cases their sick days.
BYOD Saves Money and Frees Up Resources
Companies spend a huge amount of money on hardware to equip employees to do their jobs. In an office that’s friendly to personal devices, employees can be given the option to opt out of using a company-issued computer, thereby freeing up hardware for other purposes and saving quite a bit of money. Remote days also cut down on power consumption in the office.
Additionally, allowing employees to work from personal devices can ease the initial transition into the workplace and make everyone feel more comfortable and expressive.
There are a handful of issues to take into consideration when implementing a BYOD policy in the office. The first and most important consideration is security. If employees are going to work from or store company information on a personal device, it’s important that they are fully informed on security policies and guidelines on how to prevent sensitive information from being compromised.
The other main consideration is the communication of expectations. Working from personal devices does require some discipline on the part of employees. Naturally, things like personal emails and social media will bleed into the workday with a BYOD policy, but these shouldn’t serve as a distraction from whatever work needs to be done. However, with proper oversight, the use of personal devices can foster a happier and healthier workplace.
If you’re curious about how to go about safely implementing BYOD in your office, we’d love to help out. Give Hill Country Tech Guys a call any day to discuss BYOD and a wide variety of other tech solutions.