Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to work was just an idea a few years ago but it’s now becoming the norm. For most people (including those reading this article) using your personal smartphone, tablet, or laptop for work seems natural. The downside is that employees are rapidly embracing this new normal without any serious reservations.
In a Microsoft research study, they found that 67% of people are using personal devices in the workplace today, but only 53% reported having a policy in place explicitly allowing such activity. This means that whether companies like it or not, 3 out 5 people are using their own devices for work activities.
WHY EMPLOYEES LOVE BYOD
- Familiarity: This is probably the most common reason for employees to bring their own phone or laptop to work. It may be the operating system, web browser, or other apps that they know well and feel comfortable using.
- Convenience: To make sure they aren’t missing important information and to keep control over their technology, companies have been providing mobile phones for a few decades. But that means that those employees must carry two phones, since pretty much everyone also has a personal phone. This isn’t just an irritation, but a hazard for most employees. It’s hard enough to care for one mobile phone, and now they have to worry about two of them—at work, at home, or out running errands. Most employees would much rather carry just their own phone, enabling them to be reachable by family and friends (and work) anytime. Also, it could be cheaper if their company offers to share the cost of using their device for business.
- Productivity: Convenience can also result in better productivity. Having fewer devices means fewer distractions. Fewer distractions equals less wasted time. Saving time is always good for productivity.
- Personal contentment: It makes employees feel good to be able to use their own devices at work. Higher employee morale is very important for any organization. Happier employees are more likely to work hard. A positive environment is also a factor in lower turnover. So, if an employer allows personal devices to work it may have more satisfied workers.
PUT A POLICY IN PLACE REGARDLESS OF YOUR OPINION
Even for companies who have a strict “no personal devices at work” policy, putting it in writing and having employees sign it gives you the ability to enforce it if the need arises. Of course, savvy companies will acknowledge that from time to time, employees will use their own devices—even if it’s just to check email. Make sure your policy includes these exceptions and details the remediation process should it cause an issue for your network. If you need any help with your BYOD policy, just reach out.