According to studies, 85% of businesses adopted a BYOD policy because of the pandemic and subsequent shift to remote working. With hybrid working now an embedded part of many working routines, can a BYOD policy provide advantages for businesses and what are the potential risks of implementing one?
What is a BYOD policy?
A bring your own device policy is essentially 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. Many of us will actually have unknowingly been using our own devices for many years – most commonly for accessing emails and Teams on our personal mobile devices.
Here, we run through some of the pros and cons of adopting such a policy and consider if it is a suitable solution for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
By allowing employees to use their own devices, this takes a huge cost away from businesses having to supply laptops and mobile devices to every employee. Not only does it avoid the upfront cost but it also takes away the ongoing cost of insuring and replacing devices.
No learning curve
When every individual is given the freedom to use the device that they are most comfortable with, we take away the need to teach employees how to use one particular device and operating system. 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 provide useful guidance for organisations on how to develop a BYOD policy for your business, which is accessible here.
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.