Increasingly, employers are telling workers, “Bring your own device.” Often abbreviated as BYOD, the term means that workers can use personal mobile devices — such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets — at the office.
Already, it’s estimated that four in 10 workers use their own smartphone or tablet each week for work-related information or applications. Company information most frequently accessed from mobile devices includes email, schedules and calendars, databases and company apps. Some workers use their own devices exclusively; others only while they are at home or out of the office.
The trend is expected to continue to grow. According to a survey by Gartner Inc., the trend is embraced by both employees (because they get to work on the devices they like best) and companies (because of the reduced or eliminated equipment costs.) It’s projected that more than one-third of companies will stop providing devices to workers in the next two years.
There are some issues companies must resolve if they are to fully adopt a BYOD approach to doing business. One is security. According to a new survey by Crowd Research Partners, unauthorized access to company data and systems, the downloading of unsafe apps, content or malware remain key concerns, especially when employees are using their own devices. Privacy of both company and worker information is another issue. Other issues to think about are how much employees are working. When the device or devices you work with are with you all the time, there is a tendency to work too much. Time spent reading and sending emails and texts related to work is still work.