Over the many new normals that we’re increasingly getting used to, bring your own device or BYOD is a popular trend. In a highly digitalised world, where the distinction between work phone and personal phone is getting blurred, this can have enormous consequences for employee wellbeing and privacy.
With remote and hybrid work becoming institutionalised across sectors, businesses expect their employees to be constantly available. This has led to a situation where business hours can extend beyond the 9 to 5 and even encroach upon holidays and weekends. BYOD might sound beneficial but both businesses and their employees need to understand the impact of combining a work phone and personal phone.
The primary objective of BYOD is to ensure that employees stay connected the way they would prefer. While some employees may already be using their personal phones for work, BYOD gives the practice legitimacy at an organisational level. The reason for organisational acceptance is that combining a work phone and personal phone does provide some advantages.
If employees have to use separate phones for their professional and personal communication, they will have to buy two phones. This is necessary to protect their privacy and the security of all business-related communication.
Under BYOD, work phone and personal phone can be the same device. This saves money for employees and their organisations if businesses are expected to bear the cost of the secondary device. At an organisational level, these costs can add up to a substantial amount. BYOD gets rid of all these expenses.
Carrying two phones is cumbersome for employees since it can be physically uncomfortable. Remember that this is on top of the laptop, chargers, external memory drives etc that people routinely carry. With BYOD, employees only have to carry one phone with them.
Beyond the discomfort, with a work phone and personal phone, employees also have to get used to two different sets of tools and features. In some cases, it could even be two different operating systems. But when employees use the same phone for personal and business communication, they will be using a device they would be comfortable with. That would make them more productive.
If an employee uses their phone, it’s safe to assume that it will be with them at all times. This makes sure that they will be easier to reach both during and after business hours in case of emergencies.
If they have to carry a work phone and personal phone, employees might only be available on their personal numbers after work. Other than intra-organisational communication, this can also create problems in client and vendor relationships.
Personal devices including phones may not have the advanced security frameworks that company-issued business phones would have. Employees will also be using messaging, social media, entertainment, e-commerce apps etc on the same phone. All these put confidential business information at risk.
The problem is compounded if the device is stolen or lost. In such instances, the business might be able to remotely lock the phone or wipe the information if the phone is issued by the organisation.
Not all personal phones may have the same features. This would limit an employee’s ability to connect with both internal and external stakeholders. Some phones may not have email, which would make it difficult to reach those employees on their phones.
When the phone is provided by the organisation, all devices would have the same operating systems, hardware and software, which would make it easier to connect with the workforce.
Constant connectivity may be a good thing for organisations but it’s bad news for employees. When they’re expected to answer calls, messages and emails after work hours and even during holidays, it puts enormous pressure on their wellbeing.
This can be both exhausting and disengaging for employees. It will also have demonstrable impacts on their productivity.
Using a personal phone for work is one of the most harmful things you can do to your wellbeing. But the solution need not be carrying a work phone and personal phone. With Chalkboard, you can combine the two and get a second phone for work.
Why should you switch to Chalkboard? To begin with, there’s no need to buy a second phone or get an additional SIM. Download the app on your existing device and you’ll be able to make and receive calls and text messages on any of your connected devices.
Secondly, it comes with auto-reply. Now you don’t have to worry about answering calls after business hours or during holidays. If you miss a call, the app will send a predetermined message to the caller, explaining why you can’t take the call, when they can hear from you and what they can do in the meantime.
This will improve your customer relationship management and give you that much-needed work-life balance. To fully separate your work and personal lives while optimising all business communication, sign up for Chalkboard’s free trial today.
Everything you need to know about the practice of BYOD and its importance for your business
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