85% of businesses are thought to have adopted a BYOD policy in the past few years. With the shift to remote and hybrid working, we’re looking at what advantages a BYOD policy can bring, and what the potential risks to be aware of are.
What is a BYOD policy?
A bring your own device policy is an agreement between the employer and employee that allows employees to use their personal devices for work – this could include a laptop, mobile or tablet. Most of us will have unknowingly been using our own devices for years – that ‘quick email check’ on the weekend on your phone, or late night presentation prep, if we think about it there are plenty of times we’ve used our own devices for work.
If you’re now thinking – should I have a BYOD policy in place – then read on through some of the pros and cons of adopting a BYOD policy.
One of the most compelling reasons for BYOD is the immediate cost-saving potential. It means businesses no longer need to invest exorbitant amounts of money in purchasing devices for every employee. Instead, they have the option to rely on the devices that employees already own and are comfortable using. It was a win-win situation: employees get to use their preferred devices, and businesses avoid the expense of equipping an entire workforce with new gadgets.
No learning curve
BYOD policies give everyone the freedom to use the device they’re most comfortable with. An upside of this is it takes away the need to teach employees how to use one particular device and operating system. Has anyone ever tried using a Mac for the first time? It’s like speaking another language initially. Of course people adapt and learn new systems, but sometimes it’s about making things as smooth as possible and if this h
Giving everyone the freedom to work in a way that works for them can be incredibly efficient, allowing new starters to hit the ground running without the need for extensive training on devices and systems.
Using our own devices for work gives us much greater flexibility when it comes to where and when we are able to work. Not being physically in the office is no longer a barrier to how efficiently you are able to work and communicate with colleagues.
Perhaps the most commonly occurring push back for implementing such a policy is the risk threat to the business. Allowing employees to use their own device can open up businesses to multiple vulnerabilities. However, by establishing device authentication, company access rights and employee off-boarding plans, many of the risks associated with such a policy can be mitigated and controlled.
To give companies a centralised view of all devices and their current anti-virus status, you can implement a cloud-based anti-virus solution, such as Sophos Intercept-X. Solutions like this and others similar in the market, help to ensure a consistent device security strategy is applied across all devices.
Complex support systems
When everyone is using the same device and systems, IT support is much more simplified. With multiple different device types, there does come an added pressure on IT support to be constantly up to date with how every device works and common issues that occur with each type.
Finding compatible systems
An important consideration if choosing to use a BYOD system, is finding compatible systems that work for all devices. For example, finding a phone system that works seamlessly on all desktops, mobiles and tablets is vital for ensuring that everyone is able to work efficiently and effectively. Our eve Voice platform could be the answer to this – as an easy to use software that can be accessed anywhere, on any device.
How can you make the most of the benefits of BYOD policies?
A BYOD policy may not be right for every business, but for those with smaller initial budget to spend on equipment, or businesses that are located in various places or fully remote, it may be a practical solution.
If choosing to adopt BYOD into a workplace it is paramount that a well-thought out policy is created and shared within the business.
The National Cyber Security Centre provides useful guidance for organisations on how to develop a BYOD policy for your business, which is accessible.
Can a BYOD policy work for you and increase efficiency?
Yes, if there is a real drive within your business to implement such a strategy it could be considered. It’s important to weigh up the pros and cons, as we have demonstrated in this piece, to contemplate whether it is a practical move for your business.
As to whether or not it will increase efficiency will depend on your team – how do they like to work? Would they prefer to work on a device of their choosing? Or, actually do they prefer the clear distinguishability between personal and work devices. All are important conversations to have to determine whether BYOD is the right decision for your business.