4 Reasons Why BYOD Is Taking Over The Office
The technology research firm Garner estimates that 90 percent of businesses will support BYOD by 2014. Letting employees bring their personal devices could offer significant benefits to companies struggling to keep up with the latest in information technology without exceeding their IT budgets. When it comes to adopting BYOD, though, price only plays one role in a company’s decision.
# 1. BYOD Increases Productivity
According to research conducted by Dell, more than two-thirds of companies that have already adopted BYOD have seen a noticeable increase in employee productivity. More than half of the companies surveyed by Dell also believe that they would face competitive disadvantages by preventing BYOD. Why does bringing a personal device to work make employees more productive?
Employees who use their own devices at work also tend to spend time at home working. When you have the same device on you at all times, the barrier between work life and personal life starts to blur. A recent survey shows that 43 percent of executives approve of BYOD programs because it gives employees the ability to work offsite.
Employees might also feel more comfortable using their own devices. If a business forces employees to use a specific device at work, then they can’t take advantage of skills that those workers have already developed. When you already have a well-trained staff that knows how to use tablets, smart phones, and laptops, why would you force them to relearn everything just so they can operate a different machine?
# 2. BYOD Saves Companies Money
For companies that have comprehensive BYOD plans, the average employee becomes about $3,150 more valuable each year. That’s not just a matter of increased work productivity; it’s also a matter of savings.
By encouraging or requiring employees to use their own mobile devices for work, companies can save a lot of money. Instead of buying a new employee that $400 smart phone, you can rely on them to use their own. Even if companies give their employees monthly stipends to cover data and talk time dedicated to work, they still shift a significant burden off their books. Employees are going to buy those devices anyway, so why not take advantage of that?
Besides, no one wants to carry personal and work devices. Between smartphones, tablets, and laptops, that would become really cumbersome.
# 3. BYOD is the Future
It doesn’t matter whether your company thinks BYOD increases productivity and saves money, because people will bring their own devices to work no matter what you do.
Even if, for some reason, you decided that you absolutely didn’t want people bringing their own smartphones to work, how would you implement such a policy? You can’t tell people to just leave their phones at home all day. That’s not how people expect to communicate with each other. Job satisfaction would plummet and a lot of excellent employees would go work for your more open-minded competitors.
Let’s set aside the practicality of whether you could or would want to force such a policy on your employees. Research shows that you would still hurt your business.
- The companies that get an extra $3,150 of value from each employee only get that because they have successful comprehensive BYOD plans.
- They train their employees to use their devices properly for work whether they’re in the office or at home.
- Those that have basic BYOD plans only get $950 of added value from employees.
If you don’t have a BYOD plan at all, then chances are that you’ll actually lose value. Let’s face it, BYOD presents some challenges to employers. They have to prepare for potential security breaches and they have to worry about employees bringing viruses to the company network. Both of those things can cost you serious money and tarnish your reputation.
By creating a training program that shows employees how to BYOD safely, you can turn an inevitability into an opportunity.
Would you rather lose money because you don’t adequately address an inevitable change in your employees’ habits, or would you rather save money and increase productivity by counting on those habits?
# 4. BYOD Provides Flexibility
Unless your business has found a surprisingly lucrative local niche, you have to appeal to customers all over the world. Mobility has blurred the lines between work and personal life; it has also blurred geographic lines. Mobile phones, tablets, and similar devices make it cheap and easy for someone in Australia to do business with someone in the United States.
Now that those geographic and time zones have eroded, you need to consider how you will serve customers located halfway around the world. BYOD isn’t the perfect solution to this problem, but it’s a good start. When your employees get to use their own devices for their work and personal lives, they accept that they’ll get business calls at home. It’s just the way modern life and communication works. Everyone knows it, so businesses shouldn’t pretend that these changes aren’t happening.
By letting employees use their own devices, you get more work out of them. Suddenly, they can take calls from a client calling at 10 p.m.. No one likes being disturbed by work questions at the end of the day, but it isn’t the end of the world. Your employee spends a few minutes talking to the client, and then they’re done.
If they don’t have ways to communicate with clients outside of office hours, though, you could see a dip in business. No one wants to use a company that can’t offer them timely service. That’s a faux pas that will send customers away. Again, this only benefits your progressive competitors who know that flexibility leads to success in today’s business environment.
Has your business already accepted the advantages of letting employees bring their own devices to work? How has this worked so far? Has your company benefited like so many others, or have you met special challenges that have forced you to reconsider your approach to BYOD? Leave a comment and offer your opinion on the BYOD revolution.
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