BYOD: Leveraging Personal Devices in the Workplace
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BYOD: Leveraging Personal Devices in the Workplace

Man's headshot with blurred background By John Petrucelli November 30, 2022

Categories: Bring Your Own Mobile Workforce Technology

Smart phones are now ingrained into every part of our lives—and that includes our workspaces. Once considered office distractions, smart phones are now an office mainstay. Companies might provide smart phones, tablets and other devices to ensure employees stay connected around the clock. However, employers are now embracing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies. In fact, 87% of companies rely on employees using personal devices to access apps for business. And that number is only growing. So where does that leave your company? What are the benefits of leveraging personal devices for business use?

Personal Devices: An Essential in the Workplace

The shift to remote work has set up many employees working in home offices to use their personal devices for business reasons. Those employees who aren’t fully remote often bring laptops, smart phones and tablets to and from their offices daily. Workers are fully equipped to work outside traditional business hours and locations. And equipped to perform their job roles using non-traditional technology. According to Gartner, 32% of time for under 40 workforce is spent working from a smartphone or tablet. As the workplace continues to mobilize, this will only grow in importance.

The Benefits of a Bring Your Own Device Program

Every company is different. What works for one is not guaranteed to work for another. Companies deciding between a BYOD and a company provided device program should look at all options before making their final choice. That being said, there are several ways a BYOD program can benefit your company. Those include cost control, efficiencies and talent attraction.

Cost Control with BYOD

Employers looking to adopt BYOD programs face the challenge of quantifying expenses that employees incur by using their personal devices for work and reimbursing them. There are a number of methods companies generally employ when it comes to BYOD reimbursement. One of them is simply having employees expense the costs monthly. This is a costly method as, according to GBTA, it costs the average organization $58 to process one expense report.

Another method is a monthly stipend. This is also expensive, as there’s 26% chance of potential to over or underpay each employee with a $50 monthly phone stipend. Companies may choose not to reimburse for business use of personal devices. However, this may be in violation of labor laws and expose the company to lawsuit risk.

While these methods have considerable downsides, there is another option. With the right vendor, employers can ensure reimbursements that match the specific needs of each individual employee. By combining technology and expertise, a vendor can offer equitable reimbursements based on living cost data and business use. This method ensures reimbursements are distributed to those with roles that require business use of personal phones. On top of removing reporting expenses from BYOD, this also offers oversight into the payment process.

Efficiencies Gained with BYOD

A BYOD program that relies on expense reports or monthly stipends doesn’t provide much insight. With the right reimbursement program, companies have a better understanding of the employees involved and the role-specific duties that require personal devices. This also simplifies expense reporting, a task whose cost can be measured in administrative hours. Increased insight and reduced admin is a recipe for the efficiencies so many companies are currently looking for.

Attracting and Retaining Talent with BYOD

Desirable employee benefits have shifted considerably in the last couple of years. Attachments to company assets have waned as flexibility has come into focus. Those who worked through the pandemic from their home know how much they can do outside of a corporate setting. The flexibility a bring your own device program offers makes it a boon for both attracting and retaining top talent.

While the alternative, company-provided-device programs, may come with a new phone, more often than not this is perceived as a burden and not a benefit. Not only does the employee have to keep track of two phones, they may also have to familiarize themselves with a different operating system. A BYOD program enables mobile workers to leverage a device they already know, without worrying about an additional one.

Concerns of a Bring Your Own Device Program

We’ve covered the broad benefits of a BYOD program. Improvements in cost control, efficiency and talent attraction can have a wide-reaching impact on a company. That isn’t to say there aren’t issues with a BYOD program. Perhaps the most noticeable is the concern over security.

Security Concerns

Although the increased mobility allowed by BYOD is very appealing, the program comes with inherent risks. The largest risk is security. Employees may connect devices they use for work to less-than-reputable wireless networks during off hours—at the local coffee shop, for example. This can compromise sensitive information and expose devices to viruses that are then transferred to the office. What’s more, these infected devices create opportunities for hackers to infiltrate corporate systems. But even with these risks, there are solutions.

Security Solutions

Some companies prefer company-provided-device programs because they have complete control over every device. They can install necessary security software to each device before the employee even sees it. However, security is not exclusive to CPD. Companies with BYOD programs also have security options.

By implementing a mobile device management (MDM) program businesses can secure and manage devices company-wide. This means employers can prioritize the safety of both employee personal data and sensitive company information. Some essentials of best-in-class security solutions include two-factor authentication and automated role-based licensing.

The Bottom Line

BYOD policies can have huge benefits. That goes beyond the many companies that have found enabling mobile employees to use personal devices for business purposes increases productivity outside of traditional office hours. It extends to efficiencies, cost control opportunities and talent initiatives gained. Personal devices in the workplace unlikely to go away any time soon. Make sure your organization is working with a company that helps you achieve each benefit. Learn more about our BYO solutions today!

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