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Technological trends rarely have linear paths of adoption. Meaning, they may not become popular or useful the first time they’re introduced. The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy is an excellent example of this. Since the first introduction ran into problems, the question is, can we get BYOD right this time around?
Introduced a few years ago, BYOD didn’t take off for several reasons. But the pandemic put it into revival mode. To ensure that there is greater acceptance and seamless application for BYOD 2.0, let’s understand the concept and its significance.
Bring Your Own Device enables employees to use their personal devices for work. Under this policy, an employee can buy, own and use their laptops, tablets and smartphones for personal and professional needs.
BYOD became popular in 2008-09 with the surge in sales of smartphones and tablets. Organisations allowed employees to get their devices since there were advantages for both parties. But due to privacy and security concerns, the policy was rolled back, or at least discouraged in most instances.
Short answer? The pandemic. With remote work becoming the norm, businesses realised the need to give employees the freedom to the way they work. Without the restraints or codes of a physical office, letting employees choose their devices became a logical step.
The second reason is that employees were found to be more comfortable and productive when they use devices they’re already familiar with. There’s no need to use unfamiliar hardware. This also eliminates the friction when transitioning between different operating systems or software.
For BYOD to be effective and employee-friendly, businesses would need to be aware of its best practices. This will help ensure that there is greater acceptance for BYOD 2.0.
Employees and organisations shouldn’t have to risk privacy. Companies should stipulate what software their employees can and should use. All work-related communication should be on safe messaging platforms and separate from personal chats, calls and messages.
Secondly, organisations should train employees on security. This is significant as most communication now happens over mobile phones. Employees should be made aware of the potential for data breaches, phishing attacks and malware.
So, should you implement BYOD in your business? Well, that depends on your staff strength, privacy concerns, budgetary pressures and business needs. You should also know that there is another way to get the right balance between freedom and security while ensuring work-life balance for employees.
If businesses want is their employees to have a dedicated second line for work, the solution is a second number app. To begin with, there is no need to carry two phones, which is guaranteed to end in burnout.
With a separate line for business-related calls and messages, employees won’t have to use their personal phone for work. It will significantly improve employees’ privacy since they won’t have to share their private numbers with customers or clients.
A second phone number app such as Chalkboard will also give you value-added features including auto-reply and working hours. If you’re a small business owner, this makes Chalkboard the best substitute for BYOD.
Bring Your Own Device can be beneficial if it addresses the concerns of both businesses and their employees. But it isn’t the only option for having a separate line for work-related communication. Virtual apps combine the best of both worlds and are a smarter and more affordable alternative to BYOD.
Read this complete guide if you’re considering implementing a BYOD policy for your business
While 'bring your own device' or BYOD may have its advantages, it's a bad idea to combine your work phone and personal phone