These days, the policy of BYOD – “bring your own device” – makes sense for many businesses with workers mandated to work from home due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, even before the pandemic, BYOD was popular – with over 80% of people using personal devices for work tasks, says Lifewire.
Still, it doesn’t automatically follow that BYOD doesn’t carry any risks for those businesses adopting it. Here are just some examples of upsides and downsides applicable to BYOD.
Pro: employees and employees alike can save money
As you probably already bought your current smartphone, tablet or laptop long before you took up your current job position, you could easily appreciate being able to use that device for work purposes. Imagine, then, how excited your employees could be to do likewise with their personal electronic devices.
You wouldn’t need to spend any of your own money on extra gadgets for your staff – and you could also leave them to fund any cellular data they might need for, say, video calls.
Pro: workers can use devices they personally like
Without a BYOD policy in place, you could be inclined to hand your workers budget-oriented devices because of your company’s financial picture. However, the workers themselves could find these devices overly dull, as low-price gadgets often are – rendering your recruits rather unenthusiastic about using them.
That lack of enthusiasm could bode ill for how productively the workers use these devices. However, as people are often picky about what personal devices to buy, they could easily enjoy using them.
Pro: people are more opt to look after tech they own
This point is raised in an article by The Balance Careers, which points out: “Usually, employees know that if they lose or break their company phone, it’s a pain, but the company will provide a new one.”
In contrast, an employee could be aware that, if they misplace or break a phone belonging to them, it will be them, the employee, who has to foot the bill for a replacement device.
Con: incompatibility issues can arise
Giving employees free rein over which devices they use can throw up lots of compatibility problems, as different workers could favor different operating systems and even apps.
You could find, for example, that someone is holding onto an old BlackBerry handset incapable of running any software your business uses. Even if your team stick to iPhones and Android phones, some of those could be ageing models that no longer get OS updates.
Con: it can be tricky to impose rules on usage of those devices
It’s easy for you to set some ground rules about how work-supplied devices should be used, since those devices are essentially yours, not the employees’ – you are simply lending that tech to them. However, it’d be harder for you to impose such rules on how your workers should use their own devices.
Fortunately, Wandera offers various cybersecurity tools for helping to ease remote management. These tools include a “zero trust” system for specifying which workers are authorized to access which apps.