While a BYOB party can be a bit of a drag, the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend in the workplace is something both employers and employees are getting really excited about.
In a corporate landscape guided by the cloud, more companies are opting for BYOD. In fact, 75 percent of companies surveyed by Tech Pro last year permit or plan to permit BYOD in the workplace. A 2014 study by professional IT network Spiceworks found that 35 percent of devices in today’s workplace are employee-owned.
So what exactly does BYOD entail?
BYOD is when a business allows employees to use personal devices at work, ranging from smartphones to tablets to laptops, or devices sanctioned by the company and supported alongside devices that are business-owned.
Despite its rising popularity (and necessity), many employers are still on the fence. But BYOD isn’t just popular, it’s inevitable. To prove its significance, here are just four ways BYOD can boost a company’s overall productivity:
- Give employees freedom over where (and how) they work.
The nature of the BYOD tech trend gives employees more freedom over how they work. The ability to access company information, files and applications from personal devices allows for greater flexibility. Instead of being tied down to a desk or office hours, employees have the option to work from various mobile devices in various locations. BYOD makes the entire workflow mobile.
Considering 20 percent of the 1,500 job seekers surveyed by FlexJobs last year would take a cut in pay for more flexible work options, the BYOD trend is necessary to creating more work-life balance. Not to mention, working from devices that employees are already familiar and comfortable with can help them complete tasks quickly and efficiently.
- Instill a greater sense of ownership.
Employers who embrace BYOD make it easier for employees to work by removing the distinction between personal and company-owned devices. That can make work more personal for employees and instill a greater sense of ownership. Employees who accept more ownership over their work are more motivated and engaged. That means better quality.
- Attract and retain creative talent.
BYOD in the workplace boosts talent attraction and retention, as well as improving organizational productivity. The familiarity and degree of comfort associated with personal devices is an employee benefit both job seekers and current staff both appreciate. It provides employees with the added benefit of workplace flexibility while empowering and engaging them.
The ability to work from personal devices ensures that employees are actively engaged in company matters. It also allows employees to work outside of the traditional workplace constraints, which is sometimes necessary (especially when late night inspiration hits).
As mobile devices increasingly dominate how we receive and disperse information outside of the office, they’ll become increasingly important within the office, particularly when it comes to attracting the newest and most tech-savvy generation of workers.
- Spend less in operating expenses.
Eliminating the need for multiple devices, software and data plans can mean big savings for companies. The ability to access work-related information through personal devices and the cloud also means that companies can reduce costly operating expenses.
Additionally, delivery of software updates is made far more efficient through the cloud. This takes the pressure off of IT departments to upgrade entire systems, and also reduces the disruption and costs typically associated with the upgrade process.
It’s reasonable to ask, though, is it a secure way to do business?
As with most things in the workplace, a BYOD policy is as secure as companies make it. Understanding the risks of this tech trend, including security breaches and inappropriate usage, is the first step in prevention. Taking the following measures can help companies make BYOD policies work effectively, efficiently and securely:
- Work with a legal team to create and implement a policy outlining appropriate usage of personal devices for work-related use.
- Host company data on high-security and compliance-oriented cloud-based systems.
- Create password and PIN protection for all personal devices.
- Adopt a mobile device management system (e.g. remote wipe technology).
- Educate employees on the do’s and don’ts for personal device use, including what devices, platforms and networks may be used, how to handle loss or theft of personal devices used for work, company ownership of business information, etc.