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Bring Your Own Device or BYOD has been rising in popularity over the last few years. While it was limited to a few organisations before the pandemic, the practice is now accepted by a larger number of firms.
More businesses are adopting BYOD due to the demands of remote or hybrid work policies. Before instituting it for your business, it would be helpful to know the BYOD pros and cons.
BYOD allows employees to use their personal devices including laptops, smartphones and tablets for professional use. This is in stark contrast to the earlier practice of Here’s Your Own Device or HYOD. Under that policy, employees had to use devices issued by the office for at least some, if not all, of their work.
Employees, especially those on the road, would have company-issued phones or computers to log in information about leads or sales. It made filing documentation easy for employees. In the process, it also made it easy for the business to collate and analyse data.
With BYOD, employees don’t have any restrictions on using their personal devices. This can be particularly helpful for small businesses and those with remote or hybrid workforces.
To be effective, there needs to be a BYOD policy with clear instructions on what is and is not allowed.
What should a BYOD policy say? A BYOD policy should inform employees about the kind of devices they can use, for what purpose they can use them, whether the software they use should be approved by the business, the security measures they should take and the responsibilities they have for official documents.
Why should businesses have a BYOD policy? Without a clearly communicated policy, employees may use incompatible devices and mismatched software and may not institute necessary safety protocols.
This could increase the security concerns for official documents and communication. If customer information is compromised, there could also be legal and regulatory challenges.
BYOD is becoming more popular because it has certain demonstrable advantages.
The biggest advantage of BYOD is that businesses don’t have to buy devices for employees or regularly upgrade the software. Considering the cost of smartphones and other devices, these could turn out to be significant savings.
Moreover, employees would likely be more careful with their devices and so, the maintenance costs also would be low for businesses.
Whenever an employee joins, businesses have to spend some time and energy onboarding them. This is necessary to acclimatise them to the hardware and software of the firm. But when they have the freedom to use their devices, onboarding becomes easier.
Also, when team members leave, there’s no need for them to return their devices. This saves time for both employees and HR units.
With BYOD, employees don’t have to get used to new devices. They will be working on devices they are already familiar with. They will have greater freedom to work from anywhere and this can improve their productivity.
Employees also don’t have to worry about managing two sets of devices. Because carrying two phones can be cumbersome and counterproductive.
Businesses don’t have to worry about getting the latest phones or frequently updating their software. Managers can focus on more productive tasks, knowing that employees are working on devices of their choice.
Since it’s their personal devices, employees would be motivated to update the technology. IT staff at the organisations won’t have to remind employees of that.
When analysing BYOD pros and cons, it’s equally important to look at the disadvantages of the policy.
It’s easier to lay out rules for the usage of company devices and install necessary safety protocols like firewalls. There would also be limited access to these devices. But family members would have more access to personal devices. This increases security risks and poses potential privacy issues.
The fine line that separates work and personal life would disappear with BYOD. It would be nearly impossible for employees to ‘switch off’ from work because they always have to keep their personal phones on.
BYOD will force employees without smartphones to get one in order to access email and other work-related apps. Considering the prices of these devices, this places a substantial burden on employees.
No additional device is needed. With Chalkboard, you don’t have to worry about getting or managing another device. You can download the app to make and receive calls on any connected device.
Greater work-life balance. Chalkboard allows you to separate work and personal contacts. You can also set auto-reply to respond to calls during non-office hours.
Enhanced marketing tools. Use advanced messaging for conversational marketing to build your brand’s online reputation.
Save money. No need to standardise or regularly update devices and no need for trained IT staff to manage the phones. Chalkboard offers affordable plans that will reduce your monthly bills.
Read this complete guide if you’re considering implementing a BYOD policy for your business
How to roll out Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) in a way that benefits businesses and employees