According to recent reports, almost two thirds of small businesses support a BYOD (bring your own device) initiative. A similar trend is happening at the other end of the scale with three quarters of large businesses allowing employees to connect smartphones and tablets to their systems.
Those companies that try to deny this new trend will likely find that employees are bringing in their devices and using them for work whether they have permission or not. So, faced with an inevitable slide towards BYOD, it’s worth taking a moment to find out just what you’re dealing with.
- People have a vested interest in understanding how to use their own devices. Employees will naturally be more savvy and self-supporting, meaning a reduction in the need for IT support.
- With the flexibility of the where and when of work that BYOD offers, many suggest it can provide a significant increase in productivity. A Huffington Post article highlights that in one quarter, Intel saw 640,000 emails sent via mobile phones, equating to an extra 51 minutes of productivity per day.
- Being able to use personal devices to work on professional tasks is a big step forward in integrating people’s working and personal lives: having that flexibility can greatly improve employee satisfaction and retention.
- The biggest, loudest concern sounded from all quarters is security.
- Following behind is the difficult switch in mindset for managers as they lose control and oversight over their employees. If people can work anytime, anywhere on a device that a manager has no right to access, they have to find new ways to measure productivity.
- Mobile device management allows companies to effectively create specific apps for their employee’s devices that they can control and encrypt as necessary. It can also allow companies access to wipe devices that have been stolen or lost. Some cloud applications work entirely virtually, meaning employees can access and edit data without it ever actually being downloaded onto their personal device.
- CYOD is a new trend emerging amongst enterprises, meaning choose your own device. The device remains company owned and controlled but employees have a say in which device they use and some of it’s configuration.
- This Forbes article lists five helpful tips to secure your BYOD workplace.
- Find a balance between freedom and control. Whilst you may need to monitor some employee behaviour on their personal devices, think carefully about the contents and transparency of your BYOD policy.
- Learn to measure productivity by output rather than hours at the desk. In a cross over with remote working, embracing a BYOD culture means embracing a new style of management and collaboration. Trust your employees.
- Pay attention to how your staff is using their devices. The emphasis of BYOD should be the ‘your’ rather than ‘device’. The momentum behind the trend is that people are finding new, efficient and innovative ways of working, so you should pay attention to how and why they are using their devices. For example, if your staff are using Evernote to collate and share information, don’t rush to ban the app, but instead consider paying for Evernote Pro to encrypt the data and support your staff’s efforts to make their jobs and lives easier.
And in case you were wondering, as a cloud-hosted application, Turbine will run on anything you fancy – so that’s one more pro for the BYOD work culture.