Is a “bring your own device” policy a good idea?
by Kayla Matthews
You already know what BYO means, but perhaps not in relation to the work environment. Companies with a BYOD policy have their staff bring in their own devices — their personal laptops, phones, tablets, etc. — to perform their day’s work.
Although this may sound like it would negatively affect a workforce, it turns out that a BYOD policy can elevate the office environment. Here are four of the benefits that come with instilling this working style:
1. Productivity increases
A boost in productivity is perhaps the most surprising benefit of all. You might imagine that employees using their own devices would veer off course, distracted by what they can do on their personal computers. However, most workers are already familiar with their own electronics, which means there’s no learning curve for figuring out how to use the programs and applications of a work-issued version.
Employees can customize their computers, tablets and smartphones to match their personal preferences, thus making work simpler. And, staffers can clock in anywhere and at any time if they’re allowed to use their own devices — this boosts the amount of work they can complete, too.
The results of such programs have been staggering in terms of productivity. A study by Frost & Sullivanfound that employees who used their smartphones gained 58 minutes of productive time, which translated into a 34% boost in productivity.
Better yet, employees have said they feel more productive with a BYOD plan in place. With a BYOD policy, employers can provide comfortable work stationsin the office, which makes for a more efficient team.
2. Costs decrease
There are some things that any company or office must provide to staff for a successful BYOD policy. For one thing, everyone needs their own workspace, which stands true regardless of the style that inspires the office design at your place of work. Along with that, conference and collaborative spaces, sitting areas, quiet zones all need furniture, too.
Needless to say, outfitting a workspace with all of the must-haves can get pricy — adding technology on top of that makes it more expensive. A BYOD policy can help defray the costs of running an office, though.
For example, employees using phones means the company has to purchase the device itself, then pay the monthly bills. However, employees will use these devices for both personal and professional purposes.
So, instead, many companies have come up with a solution. They pay a fraction of their employees’ phone bills — the portion of time they spend using the phone for professional purposes. And that figure ends up being a lot lower than paying the entire phone bill, plus the cost of everyone’s devices.
Finally, personal devices allow staffers to work from home seamlessly. With fewer employees tethered to the office, companies can cut costs by allowing more workers to clock infrom home.
3. IT staff can take a breather
IT staffers have a lot to do. They not only fix devices when they stop working, but they’re responsible for upgrades to company hardware and software — these projects can be hugely time-consuming, both in the setup and inevitable confusion to follow with new technology and programs.
Many companies have found that a BYOD policy frees up the IT staff’s time — employees know how to use their own devices, so there are less questions for the team to field. On top of that, they hold onto their computers, tablets, smartphones, etc., for longer periods of time, which further boosts their ability to use and troubleshoot their devices without help.
A BYOD policy certainly won’t put the IT staff out of work — there will always be in-office technology that needs attention, and company-specific applications and programs may leave people scratching their heads. However, such a policy can help to free up some of their time for bigger projects, which benefits the entire office.
4. Staff is happier — under one condition
Finally, keep in mind that a BYOD policy makes employees happier, too — Cisco found that customization of their employees’ workplace experience made them more satisfied with their jobs. It makes sense, considering staffers can not only comfortably work with their own devices in the office, but they can also easily log in and be productive from home, too.
To that end, many employees find it easier to strike a perfect work-life balance with a BYOD policy — they can take time off when necessary and easily catch up with their own device, wherever they are.
Of course, this happiness hinges upon your employer’s ability to help you keep your devices in tip-top shape. It can get tedious to carry your own devices back and forth from the office, and, with more frequent use, you might find your computer or tablet running poorly over time.
So, to ensure each staffer’s satisfaction with the plan, your company will have to do its part by making the BYOD policy easy to implement. Perhaps they’ll provide you with free ergonomic briefcases for your devices, or allow you to work from home more than one day a week. They might also cover repair and software costs.
Ultimately, every company will have its own way of doing things, but BYOD is a great policy to consider. Perhaps with these four benefits in mind, you can pitch the plan to your boss and see if you can start working from your own laptop, tablet or smartphone — and untethering yourself from your cubicle or office ASAP.
Image credit: Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
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