BYOD (bring your own device) is a policy adopted by employers to allow their employees to use personal devices at work. There are many advantages to this practice which benefit both the employer and employee. The policy is gaining popularity, with over 65% of employees currently utilising a personal device of one form or another within the workplace, for business use.
One of the main benefits to the employer is the cost savings associated with providing employees with devices. Not only are there up front costs for the device itself, there are also the ongoing costs attached to hardware upgrades, software releases and support. When an employee brings their own device to the office, they are responsible for the device costs, any upgrades or new software. The company also benefits from fewer calls and less burden on their IT support desk as the employee is familiar with the way in which their own devices work.
The employees will naturally be more familiar and proficient with their own devices and software. They may have tailored their devices and software in a way that may not be possible with company property, in order to suit their needs. Using Apple products for instance, instead of the restriction of ‘Microsoft only’ enforced policies, may be one way in which the freedom of choice can benefit an employee who uses their own device.
Indeed, many suppliers are offering mobile apps in order to support their online solutions on new technologies such as tablets and smart phones.
Employees will tend to keep up to date with the latest technology, whether this is a mobile device or software installed on a laptop or tablet. Company hardware and software updates would normally be subject to the refresh/upgrade cycle in place under the IT policy. Being able to take advantage of the latest technology, without the associated costs, is a huge benefit to a business.
Employees are much more likely to take good care of a device if they have purchased it with their own money. Being the device that the employee uses at home as well as in the office they will take extra care to ensure that the device is kept up to date and not to damage it.
Allowing employees to use their own device for business also enables them to choose which device (and software) they utilise. This in turn increases employee satisfaction and wellbeing, as well as improving productivity.
As mentioned above, the simple act of allowing employees to make the choice of which device they use will increase satisfaction, productivity and morale. 40% of the employees consider it very important to be able to use personal devices at work, that’s almost half of the workforce!