The workplace is changing and so are the tools employees use to enter data, perform research, and other tasks normally done on a company-issued computer. Smartphones, tablets, and other personal devices are becoming more common.
Many companies are realizing that the advantages of BYOD in the workplace far outweigh any potential risks. In most cases, potential security risks can be easily neutralized. If you’re thinking about allowing your employees to bring their own devices to work, keep reading to learn why this could be beneficial for your company.
Lower Operating Costs
Companies can save money when they implement a BYOD program. They no longer have to purchase and pay for routine maintenance on workplace computers. Monthly service and data fees are no longer part of the budget.
This is one of the main advantages of BYOD at work. Even if the business decides to pay for the employee’s data and phone plans, the cost is still lower than if the company bought the devices upfront. Now you have money for other projects.
Improved User Enhancement
Millennials are a large part of today’s workforce and they love their devices. They are tech-savvy and always looking for ways to work more efficiently. This includes being allowed to work on their own devices.
When employees are allowed to use devices they’re already familiar with, companies benefit. Businesses save on training expenses. Employees can get right to work. Since they already know which features and functions to use, productivity increases. This also applies to workers out in the field. Instead of lugging around laptops, they can use their personal handheld devices.
Using unfamiliar technology is an endeavor that will frustrate anyone. Most employers know when their workers aren’t happy. This makes it difficult to retain them long-term. It slows down performance and dampens employee morale.
Access to New Devices and Technology
Employees know their device inside and out. It’s also not uncommon for people to get attached to their phones or tablets. Individuals generally can’t wait to upgrade to the latest device. They get access to the latest technology. Typically faster and better able to handle a variety of work-related tasks, businesses usually see an improvement in employee productivity. Field Service News reported that in 2015, field service workers were more likely to use their personal devices than one supplied by the company.
In fact, with access to Siri and 4G LTE, it is easier for field employees to track company vehicles, shipments, and even any accidents. All while keeping costs to a minimum. Newer devices are also more than capable of managing billing, sales receipts, and invoices, along with storing pictures, videos, and other work-related information.
Easy Access to Information
Do you want your business to succeed? It is vital that you are able to access necessary information when you need it. It can help with customer relations. No one enjoys being left on hold just because the company can’t get the information needed to place an order or resolve a complaint. Happy customers usually equal an increase in revenue. A 2019 survey conducted by Forbes found,
- 73 percent of consumers stated that good customer experience was key when it came to brand loyalty.
- Companies with excellent customer relations on average report 5.1 times higher revenue than competitors.
Field employees also need pertinent information to do their jobs. Whether it’s a design plan for a customer or tracking a company truck, it is vital that the device keeps up. When it takes a while for the data to come up on the screen, projects are delayed.
Anytime a project is delayed or an unhappy customer cancels an order the business loses money.
Benefits of BYOD at Work
As you now know, there are several benefits associated with employees using their personal devices at work. The most prevalent advantage is cost. Companies will save money on everything from purchasing equipment to training. However, there are a few disadvantages with BYOD that should be covered.
It’s important to have all the information before implementing any new program at work and this applies to employees using their personal devices. These devices can be compromised. There are more networks to check for security breaches. Employees might also be using company time to scroll through non-work related websites. This cuts into productivity and profits.
Many of these risks can be successfully managed before a problem arises. Companies just need to know-how and be ready to implement new security programs. A few ways businesses can mitigate any potential threats are listed below.
Security for Personal Devices
Viruses, malware, hacking and other issues with cybersecurity can make employers think twice before allowing a BYOD program. There are a few ways this can be managed so everyone is happy.
- Require all employees to register their devices for security monitoring. Reassure workers that managers will not be looking at their personal information. It is only a precautionary step to help prevent any data leaks or security breaches.
- Install a closed Wi-Fi network for employees only. It should be password protected and have back-up software, along with antivirus protection.
- Prohibit employees from using public Wi-Fi if they are working in the field. Almost all personal smartphones come with their own private network. It is generally considered more secure than a public one.
- Do not allow employees to download company data to their home computers. It is too easy for others to access it.
- When an employee leaves due to resignation or termination, wipe the device clean before they leave the premises.
Have Network Support
You will want to have information on all the platforms your employees use. Problems will come up. Even the top-rated smartphone or tablet can have performance issues. If you have the information within easy access, you can refer it to the employee. You save time, which increases productivity and profits.
You will probably need software that can be tailored to your business and employees’ jobs. To prevent potentially expensive software problems, it is best to purchase it from a licensed service. You’ll get the software your business needs, along with a support team. It might cost a little more in the beginning, but it will save you money in costly IT fees over time.
Prevent Any Legal Issues
If you are in finance or healthcare, it might be best to speak to a legal expert before employees start bringing their devices to work. There could be some concerns about confidentiality.
Laws are more relaxed with other industries, but there are still legal issues that need to be addressed.
- Most states have laws that require businesses to notify anyone that could be affected due to a security breach. This usually applies to customers, but can also pertain to employees.
- There are laws that regulate how international data is transferred. It is also important to know what data can be legally transferred. Some information is prohibited and there are regions under strict sanctions.
- If employees are working off-site, they must be “on-the-clock”. It counts as “working hours” and it is illegal for companies not to pay employees regardless of where the job is being done.
- Laws and regulations do apply to employees retaining and deleting data. Some might be contractual while others are legal. It is important that employees and employers are familiar with these laws.
Advantages of BYOD Over Disadvantages
There are certain advantages to allowing employees to work off of their personal devices. There are also a few downsides. Security is the main concern, and it is an important one. However, there are ways that any potential risk can be minimized. The proper software can help, along with having a private wifi network.
Chances are you still have questions about BYOD and security. These can be easily answered by contacting RSI security to learn more about the benefits of BYOD at work.