In recent years, there has been a push for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) work environments. Although this growing trend in the business world, it is unclear whether or not the use of personal devices is the workplace is worthwhile for productivity or data security. Before converting to this business to this model, there are some pros and cons that should be considered.
- BYOD work environments can lead to more efficient and quicker communication. Employees are able to access the information they need at any time, both in office and remotely.
Could be Used as an Human Resources Tool and for Retention
- Young people in the workforce are reliant on their smartphones and electronic devices. Refusing access to personal devices at the workplace could cause you to lose young, motivated talent. Also, employees may feel disrespected because the company does not trust them to use their personal devices appropriately.
Employee-Client Relationship Building
- Personal device use in the workplace can help bridge the gap between employee-client relations. Since employees have access to company software and data, they can answer pressing client questions without going into the office. This allows the employee and the client to create a more trusting relationship, since the employee is able to check on information within a relatively short time frame if necessary.
- The main downfall of a BYOD workplace is that it is difficult to keep each an eye on each employee. Even with a solid acceptable use policy in place, it can be costly and time consuming to monitor each device and ensure it is being used appropriately. A security breach on a personal device is also more likely to happen than on a business device because employees may be more lenient with password changes and security updates, than what is essential for business devices.
Productivity and Work Performance
- The topic of the BYOD workplace is highly disputed and while some BYOD workplaces see an increase in productivity, others report a drop in productivity. This tends to be more of an issue in bigger workplaces, where it is more difficult to monitor and restrict the employees’ personal device usage. The addition of multiple personal devices to a business network can also affect the connectivity speeds and network efficiency, since there are more devices using the network. This could in turn cause a decrease in productivity.
- Another potential issue with the BYOD workplace is that employees have access to contacts and client information. Although that in many ways allows for quick response times and employee-client relationship building, it could be a concern if an employee were to leave the workplace for another job. They could easily take the information from the database with them.
It is unclear whether the implementation of BYOD in the workplace improves or decreases productivity in the workplace. Business tools like Dropbox, Google Docs, CMS access and social media platforms, make it relatively easy to integrate the use of personal devices into employees’ work lives.
However, the use of BYOD in the workplace poses many threats. Employees may not change their passwords enough or perform security updates as often as necessary, which leaves personal devices and workplace informational susceptible to security breaches. The decision to integrate this growing trend into your workplace is ultimately up to you.
- If you are considering going this route, it is crucial to speak with a legal team about implementing a strict policy outlining appropriate usage of personal devices for work related use.
- Before switching to a BYOD business, create a strong non-compete clause to ensure that client information and contacts are not used outside of the company.
- Education is key in a BYOD business! Take the time to sit down with employees and outline the dos and don’ts for personal device use and security measures. That way, you are less likely to have an issue of a database or network security breach.