Increasing productivity is one of the concerns of enterprises when they are on the quest to make an edge over their competitors. This is probably one of the reasons why they have decided to go for a BYOD policy, also known as Bring Your Own Devices.
The idea is quite simple – the employees are allowed to bring in their own devices to work and they access their files and documents, send mails and messages from it. When your company embraces the BYOD policy, you must ensure security and safety of employee devices.
Employees are afraid that ambiguous BYOD policies might invade their privacy and collect personal information like contact information, email and social media messages. So, before imposing the BYOD policy, it is important that enterprises have clear cut strategies regarding security when the device is connected to a corporate network.
The main reason why enterprises use BYOD is because it is cost-effective, but that should not be your ultimate motive. While it all sounds well and good, there are a few factors to consider when you embark on the BYOD policy. This will ensure that the employee is protected in the event of a data breach, release of personal information and litigation.
Let’s go through a few of the most important measures to ensure BYOD success.
#1. Including Everyone in the BYOD Policy
To leverage the full potential of the BYOD, you need to include everyone in your company. This would not only ensure that everyone is on the same page, but would also prevent security holes.
Remember: While including all your employees in the policy, it is also important to leave a provision on the actions to take when an employee leaves the company or is terminated. In such cases, the company reserves the right to remove all company related information from the device. The same is the case when the device is lost or misplaced.
#2. Finalize on Specific Devices
While you give the freedom to the employees to bring in their own devices for work, do you mean to have any specific device as such?
For example, if it is an Apple device, will all your employees be using their own (self-chosen) Apple devices?
Make it clear to the employee that when you issue the BYOD policy, whether you plan to issue corporate-issued devices as well. Now that the range of devices is high, it’s probably easy to have a specific device for easy corporate dealings.
#3. Security is the Important Keyword
Security and convenience are the main attractions of going the BYOD way. Data breaches could be high in organizations where security measures are faulty, so in BYOD, security should stepped up. And when workers find it convenient, they will naturally be working in a happy atmosphere leading to escalated productivity.
In order to ensure the success and longevity of your BYOD policy, you must update the software and the apps regularly. Softwares are good only when they are updated regularly, and with regular step-ups in security measures, employees can enjoy a new sense of freedom (especially, when you let them enjoy apps of their choice).
SAP, the famous software corporation from Australia has incorporated security measures to ensure privacy or information is not compromised when devices are lost or stolen. They have provision for decommissioning a device in just under a minute, so security is almost never compromised.
#4. Bringing in a Flexible Work Schedule
Your employee probably would get the tendency to take his work home with the BYOD policy. He might even reach home early, but when he works from home, his family time suffers.
While working from anywhere is one of the major highlights of the BYOD policy, make sure the employee gets enough leisure time and family time as well, to avoid premature retirement and stress-related burnouts.
#5. Deciding on the Payment Strategies
While BYOD gives the employee freedom and permission to bring his own devices to work, you need to find out whether you are going to pay for the devices or just for the wireless services and apps they use for work purposes. After all, the accounting staff shouldn’t be feeling the brunt of untoward and heavy expenses.
Hence, it’s important you set some reimbursement limits. Some points to be considered – Are you allowing the employee to choose the payment plan or have you set limits for the same? If the employee downloads stuff outside of the company’s requirements, will the company be eligible to pay?
#6. The Level of Trust that is Infused
Perhaps one of the things that stand in the way of an effective BYOD policy in most companies is trust. Employees are often apprehensive of the extent to which the management can access in their devices. Tech giant, Intel came up with a good solution for winning employees’ trust.
They informed their employees what exactly the company will be able to see and not see in employee devices. The company is also always ready to answer whatever questions their employees have regarding the BYOD policy. When there is transparency, employees are happy.
A Couple of Points Worth Considering
Here are a few things worth considering when you are moving to the BYOD trend:
- Employees might owe allegiance to certain device manufacturers and they might not use devices made by other manufacturers. To ensure there is seamless productivity and communication without a hitch, you have to make versatile programs that function across various platforms.
- Security is paramount when employees use their own devices to work. It would be good if your company has a dedicated Virtual Private Network (VPN). This is because VPN steps up security at workplace. It gives the benefit of an extra layer of encryption and ensures that security is not breached when untrusted networks enter.
When BYOD trend is combined with IoT, the possibilities are limitless. Employers can also monitor employee performance from remote locations, thereby eliminating the need to actually to come to workplace physically.
And thanks to the availability of collaboration tools, just a single tap on the screen would bring together employees from across the globe. In order to enjoy the full benefits of BYOD, make sure you keep employee priorities as your main priority with robust mobility policies in tow.
BYOD has thus evolved to be a mega trend that brings about immense changes in the way organizations function. The main advantage of the BYOD trend is increased flexibility and impressive work productivity. Employees can set their own schedules for work and find the perfect balance between work and personal life. And that’s not all; employees can use devices they are most comfortable in.
While BYOD incur certain costs, the overall effect is that it does cut down on in-house hardware dependency, thereby saving a lot on infrastructure and maintenance. User owned devices would also save office space (no need to have elaborate workstations, fax machines, scanners and desktop computers), and through that, real estate costs.