When To – Bring Your Own Device (Office Edition)

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Whether you already have a Bring Your Own Device system in place, your employees are going to want to use their own devices for work purposes.   In fact, almost 70% of employees report using their personal devices at work or for work. For example, the boss might email a question that employees look up online or log in to answer, or the employees don’t feel like dragging their work laptops home with them. Furthermore, some companies user older or cheaper models, making it more efficient for some people to use their own devices.   Whether you’re implementing a BYOD plan as a cost saving measure or just catching up with the times, follow these four tips to make sure your employees are trained in the best practices.  

Explain What Is Allowed at Work

  Even if most employees stick to work when they’re using company-provided devices, the lines can become blurred with personal hardware. Explain to your BYOD employees what they’re allowed to do during work hours and what needs to wait until they leave the office. For example, they might have all of their photos from their last vacation saved on their device, but that doesn’t mean they can edit and share them during work hours.   Some companies take the extra step of blocking social networking sites, music streaming apps, and even popular blogs to keep their staff on track. While employees might enjoy listening to music while they work, streaming puts a lot of pressure on the bandwidth and can slow down the company’s internet and thus its productivity as a whole.  

Cover Security Issues and Hacker Prevention

Image via Flickr by Duncan Rawlinson – Duncan.co – @thelastminute
  Human error is responsible for 95% of all security-related incidents, so BYOD programs can put company information at risk if the data walks out of the building with employees. This means that security should be one of the most important parts of BYOD training.   Review what phishing emails tend to look like and how to stop them. For example, employees should be able to identify suspicious email addresses, strange wording, and misspellings as possible indicators of phishing.   Your BYOD team should also know how to access secure Wi-Fi networks and how to avoid unsecure connections. If your employees access the company intranet or private system via a public network, like at a library or a coffee shop, they could put private company information at risk.  

Work With Individuals for Special Cases

  While it’s important to create guidelines for most employees in your BYOD program to follow, you should also meet with employees on a one-to-one level to address problems and special cases.   For example, the marketing department that manages social media shouldn’t have Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube blocked from their smartphones, because they can use the large screen and fast processor on their Samsung Galaxy S6 for marketing updates. Your sales team should be able to access their work email and contact list from their devices as well.   There are also cases where the company will need to either reimburse employees for software that they purchase or to purchase and download the tools onto employees’ personal devices. A graphic designer might need Adobe Creative Suite to work from home, for instance, and the company should help cover its cost.    

Make Sure You Have an Employee Exit Strategy

  One of the biggest challenges that companies face with a BYOD program is employee termination. When employees leave the company, they might still have access to private company information, whether it’s downloaded onto their personal computer or their access to company platforms hasn’t been revoked.   Along with security and use guidelines, companies need a process in place for BYOD employee termination. In some cases, employees may be required to turn in their computers for digital cleaning before they leave, while other companies have a remote wiping system that can be triggered automatically.   Fortunately, as more companies use the cloud and software-based platforms, there’s a diminished risk that employees have company information stored on their devices.   A BYOD program can provide an attractive incentive for potential employees to work at your company, especially if you have a work-from-home policy paired with it. With the right infrastructure in place, your teams can be productive, secure, and happy using their own devices.
Ashley is a full time student writing her way through college. When she’s not writing she enjoys hiking and any other outdoor activity imaginable.