Under BYOD or bring your own device, employees have the freedom to use their personal devices including smartphones, laptops and tablets for work. But to make it effective, you have to implement a BYOD policy.
In this article, we discuss what should be in your BYOD policy, the main concerns you need to address in it and its importance for small businesses and startups.
At its core, your BYOD policy should tell your employees what they can and cannot do when using their devices for work. A functional BYOD policy would have the following elements that address integration, privacy and security among others.
Why are you implementing a BYOD policy? How will it help employees? How will internal and external communication be integrated into their personal devices? Define all these goals and share them with your employees before you roll out the policy.
With a bring your own device policy, different employees could work on different devices. So, the first step is to make sure that they can seamlessly communicate with each other and share documents. For that, you should specify what devices and software are allowed in your BYOD policy.
An important aspect of any BYOD policy is establishing rights on data. After consulting with your lawyer, you should communicate to your employees who would have the rights to the company data on their devices and the protocol for returning it when an employee leaves the firm.
Company-issued devices come with in-built security features. For personal devices, you need to institute two-factor authentication to amplify security. Regular re-authentication, through which employees have to use their password every few weeks, can also secure your systems and sensitive data.
Remember that you’ll be dealing with both internal data (financial, strategic etc.) and external data (customer information). With multi-device access from different locations, employees should know the risks, disclaimers and liabilities associated with your BYOD policy.
Transparency will go a long way in making your BYOD policy successful. Your employees should know in advance what you will cover and what they would be liable for. This will help them to optimise their device usage.
A bring your own device policy might seem like a straightforward directive. After all, you’re empowering your employees to use their own devices, which makes it convenient for them. But to ensure seamless functioning, especially in remote and hybrid work, a BYOD policy needs to address these main concerns.
Privacy: To protect the privacy of both employees and the business, managers should convey how data will be protected. The BYOD policy should spell out the privacy measures that employees and management have to take.
Acceptable use: In the initial stages, it’s important to state a usage protocol. Employees need to know how they can use their personal devices for business work and how they need to separate their personal and professional use.
Devices and IT support: Will you be vetting the personal devices of your employees? Are there specific applications they should or shouldn’t use for security reasons? How often should they update their devices? All these need to be covered in the BYOD policy.
Security measures: Ensure that your employees use strong passwords for not just their devices but also for apps and websites that they would access for work. Educate them on phishing attacks and spam messages and discourage them from opening any attachment from an unrecognised source.
Your BYOD policy should have a process for when an employee is terminated, or leaves the business of their own accord. To avoid any security issues, ensure that you:
Terminate their personal device access immediately
Revoke their access to your network and systems
Remove their data from your systems
If you have in-house IT personnel, it’s helpful to formulate and document your off-boarding actions in consultation with them.
The trend gained momentum during the pandemic and with the continuation of remote and hybrid work, it’s safe to say that BYOD is here to stay.
BYOD has its advantages and disadvantages and with a BYOD policy, you can ensure that it will benefit both your business and its employees.
With a clearly spelled out BYOD policy, your employees will know what they can and cannot do on their personal devices, how they can separate their work and personal communication, the kind of software they can install and use and the security protocols they will have to abide by.
That’s how you can make BYOD work for both your business and your employees. But there’s a smarter option where you don’t have to worry about security issues.
Chalkboard: Helping your business to grow
Here’s a virtual number that lets you separate work and personal communication without having to buy a new device. Chalkboard gives you a second line for work that your employees can immediately download. This helps them achieve work-life balance by separating work and personal communication.
With Chalkboard, you can organise your contacts, send group broadcasts to your customers, and use advanced chat to start conversational marketing. Your team can also share their numbers, which will improve internal collaboration and customer service.
Can’t take a call? Set auto-reply and the caller would get a pre-written message.
Download Chalkboard and start your free trial. This is how you optimise your communication and amplify your marketing.
How to roll out Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) in a way that benefits businesses and employees