More and more employers find themselves facing the question of whether they should provide mobile devices for their employees or implement a “bring your own device” policy, commonly known as BYOD. Like with all corporate policies, there are benefits and downsides to each option that are important for business owners to understand. Below is a guide outlining the pros and cons of a BYOD policy for your company.
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of allowing your employees to use their own devices at work is that it saves money. You will not have to pay for the cost of the devices themselves, upgrades, maintenance, or perhaps even the data plans. This will save your company significant amounts of money on your IT budget. This also lowers the upfront costs of hiring a new employee, deciding to add an employee more feasible. Finally, employees are more likely to take good care of their own personal devices, which practically eliminates the need for repair and replacement costs.
Employees Are Happier
Most employees report not being as happy with company-issued devices as compared to working with their own devices. With a BYOD policy, they can use a device that caters to their preferences, and they do not have to carry separate devices for work and personal use. Your employees will also already know how to work their own devices, which means less time spent training. Increased employee satisfaction also results in less employee turnover and higher levels of loyalty.
Every business looks for ways to increase productivity among its workers, and technology is a key way to do that. Because most employees have become accustomed to the ease of use and mobility provided by their smartphones and tablets, they want the same functionality while at work. It is generally easier for employees to update their own devices, thus keeping the technology they use cutting edge and current. Employees are also more likely to use their own personal devices for work-related purposes while not at work, resulting in higher productivity levels.
Higher Cybersecurity Risk
One of the main threats of allowing employees to use their own devices is the higher risk for cybersecurity attacks and data breaches. There are more endpoints to protect, making endpoint security a top priority under a BYOD policy. For businesses that regularly handle sensitive information, having this policy may not be the wisest choice. All other businesses must seriously consider how cybersecurity will be handled on employees’ personal devices.
Device Compatibility Issues
When every employee brings their own devices that all use different hardware, software, and operating systems, compatibility will become a problem sooner or later. A potential solution is to require employees to have a device that uses a certain operating system, but this can remove one of the main BYOD benefits of flexibility. For example, some employees may simply not like working within an Apple ecosystem, while others may love Apple and hate working with Android devices. However, getting Apple devices and Android devices to work together can be a challenge.
Troubleshooting Is More Difficult
With a wider variety of devices in use at your company, tech support can become more of a challenge. Please consult with your IT support company or IT department before implementing a BYOD policy to hear their recommendations and suggestions. They can help you both draft the policy and put it in place. However, it may be possible that they cannot handle so many different devices, have little experience with a less common device, or come across other prohibitive problems.
Business owners should weigh both the pros and cons of implementing a BYOD policy at their company before allowing employees to use their own devices for work-related purposes. If you decide a BYOD policy is the right choice for your company, carefully plan its implementation, let your employees know, and gather their feedback before fully implementing the change.