Dealing With Personal Electronic Devices in the Workplace
BYOD (Bring your own device) has become a reality of the modern business environment. How can employers minimize risks and maximize productivity? Some consider a policy that allows employees to bring personal devices to the office essential to attracting and retaining talent, but it could put your company’s security at risk. How can you balance those risks against any rewards?
Today, nearly everyone owns a smartphone and many also have tablets. Developing a policy outlining when and where they can be used can avoid misunderstandings down the road. Do you want your employees taking client calls on their mobiles? Are you okay with them tapping into your Wi-Fi to take meeting notes on a tablet?
Consider the many ways BYOD can impact your organization.
Employment risks. When the line between home and work blurs, your risks increase. If you email a non-exempt employee after working hours, is he expected to read and respond? Does it matter if you are the one paying for their phone service or device or if they are using their own?
Security. BYOD means you have less control over what is going on in your network – both on a daily basis and if the employee leaves the company, taking proprietary information with them. Employees are not always as security conscious about their own devices as you are with company technology. They seldom use encryption, most surely don’t employ multi-factor authentication and could very well be using a pet’s name as a password. This all leaves your data at risk.
Productivity. There is a big difference between an employee using a smartphone to manage his calendar and using it to play Candy Crush on your dime. You can set usage parameters, but you can’t really look over his shoulder all day. You are mostly in the dark regarding what he is doing on his phone. On the other hand, BYOD can improve productivity. Employees can use social media to spread the company message and tools like Dropbox or Google Docs to work on projects anytime.
Bandwidth. Chances are that you’ve set up your network to handle the equipment you own. Unpredictable addition of devices can lead to stress on your resources. And will your people expect your in-house technical team to work on their devices for them?
Control. If you provide devices for your employees, you can keep it locked down a little tighter than you can when they provide their own. Consider whether this might be a smart investment on your part. Consistency, reliability and compatibility will be easier for you to manage.
Need advice on integrating BYOD technology into your workplace?
CSS Tec can help! We work with employers to improve productivity, reduce costs and improve ROI. If you need IT advice or help recruiting Tec professionals in industries like banking, finance, healthcare, technology and insurance, then contact a CSS Tec recruiter today!