A bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy is becoming more and more popular in today’s offices.
Businesses that offer remote opportunities, operate in several locations, or have a national spread of employees are particularly popular candidates for adopting BYOD policies.
Further, thanks to advances in cybersecurity measures, businesses of all sizes are now considering the pros and cons of adopting BYOD policies.
Studies in remote work, as well as companies that have successfully adopted BYOD policies, have revealed a range of different benefits to working from your device.
These include administrative benefits for business leaders as well as individual benefits to employees.
Companies can save money by creating and instituting a bring-your-own-device policy. BYOD policies reduce or remove the need altogether to purchase things like laptops, chargers, and other tech accessories. These small purchases can add up to significant savings, depending on the size of your company. With a BYOD policy, companies also don’t need to insure devices against employee damage or loss. This can also add up to overhead savings.
According to Cisco’s analysis of the financial impact of BYOD policies, companies can save an average of $350 per employee, per year with a basic BYOD policy. Furthermore, a comprehensive BYOD policy can save companies another $1,300 annually. These savings can benefit any business, no matter the size.
In addition to the money saved on appliances and insurances, BYOD policies can save money by decreasing the amount of time spent training new and existing employees. BYOD policies reduce training needs because employees come in with an established familiarity for their devices set up, organization, and basic troubleshooting.
With this saved time, organizations can focus on software training, rather than hardware training. This is beneficial for updates and scheduled maintenance as well. If employees are using their own devices, they may be more likely to stay on top of scheduled software updates.
Another advantage that studies have shown in favor of BYOD policies is an increase in employee productivity and satisfaction. Deloitte even stated that 83% of tech professionals with flexible policies like BYOD were more satisfied with their work than those working with less flexible policies. High employee satisfaction is a boon in many ways. It can:
Increased productivity can help improve not only the quantity of work produced but the quality of employee work as well. If employees feel satisfied with the tools they have at hand, they are more likely to use them to their fullest extent, rather than cut corners because devices are too slow or difficult to maneuver.
There are some drawbacks to adopting a bring-your-own-device policy, especially if you don’t prepare your company and employees beforehand.
Employees and business leaders alike worry about security and data privacy when devices are standardized across the company.
Who has access to what, and when, are serious questions that need to be answered before you can implement a BYOD policy.
Having dozens, if not hundreds of personal devices connected to a work network can increase security risks. It increases the number of access points hackers have to a network, and without standardized cybersecurity measures, it can also be catastrophic. Companies may also be concerned about their employee’s ability to download and share proprietary information, therefore risking exposure.
Although companies have plenty of security concerns when it comes to BYOD policies, they’re not alone either. Employees may also have privacy concerns with BYOD policies. Since many workplaces will have the ability to access devices or outsource services, many employees may question how their employers will monitor their working data.
Remote tracking — whether or not their employers can see what they’re doing on their devices during working hours — may be another privacy concern that employees have when it comes to using their personal devices.
Adopting a BYOD policy may not be universally preferred by all employees. Companies may meet pushback from some employees who would prefer to have their tools provided by the workplace.
There are a variety of reasons why employees may push back, whether that be because they don’t have the income to provide for several working devices or they simply don’t want to travel with expensive personal devices for work. This could be a barrier to implementing a company-wide policy, which is the most efficient way to create a BYOD policy.
Creating an effective device policy can help you maximize the benefits your company experiences, and minimize any drawbacks we’ve mentioned. It’s important to note that BYOD policies will vary from business to business, based on the type of business, their specific priorities, and other personalized factors. However, there are things that all businesses can do to create a BYOD policy that fits their needs. The first step is to address security.
Because your employees will each have different devices, likely with varying operating systems and capabilities, it’s important to create a security plan that works universally to combat risks. This includes investing in security software, such as network monitoring or device identification. Doing so enables you to make sure unauthorized devices are not connecting to your company’s network.
This is a very critical part of any BYOD action plan because hackers are looking for access points to your network. If employees access the network on unsecure, unauthorized devices, hackers can take advantage of these devices and tap into your entire network.
Here are some other great ways to optimize BYOD security:
Security is the first priority for any BYOD policy. But at the same time, you need to dedicate efforts to ensure the policy is effectively implemented and managed:
There are many benefits to creating a BYOD policy, which is why so many companies have adopted one. When creating any new workplace policy, it’s important to stay transparent and to work closely with HR to ensure that everyone’s needs are met.