By Matthias Völkl, Cherry, Vice President Business Unit Office & Security
Did you know that 87 percent of companies rely on employees having access to mobile business apps from their personal smartphones?
It wasn’t so long ago that employers issued the same computer equipment to each employee — regardless of work preferences. And at the end of the work day, the equipment remained at the office, securely stationed in the workspace.
Things couldn’t be more different today. At least 30 percent of workers believe the tech tools used in their personal lives are more effective and productive than employer-supplied tools.
The popularity of smartphones and other mobile devices, and cloud-based access to email accounts, servers and other necessary data platforms has given employees the access to work from anywhere, at any time. And it’s not just cell phones employees are bringing to the office — they’re bringing their preferred keyboards, mice, and headsets, too. This technological shift has resulted in the rise of BYOD, or the “Bring Your Own Device” trend in the workplace.
For employers, the BYOD trend means lower costs and increases in employee productivity. For employees, BYOD is a chance to use familiar devices while reducing the number of tech tools needed to complete work tasks. Still, there are downsides employers should consider to the upswing in BYOD: applications and tools that are important to your business may not translate to each individual’s device, and a company must consider investing more in IT security measures to protect the integrity of the business if outside devices are continually logging into the company’s servers and platforms.
That said, BYOD isn’t leaving the workplace anytime soon. Here are 6 facts you need to know about the future of BYOD.
1. Work devices are increasingly employee-owned.
The growing trend toward employee-owned devices in the workplace has resulted in the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement. BYOD policies allow employees to conduct work tasks on their own devices including laptop and desktop computers, smartphones, tablets and e-readers. A study conducted by Tech Pro Research shows that BYOD is the new standard in many workplaces. Over half of respondents surveyed said their company allows BYOD in the office with an additional 13 percent saying their company has plans to accelerate the shift toward BYOD work policies.
2. A desire for work/life balance, flexibility, and a growing class of “gig workers” are fueling the BYOD trend.
The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend is growing increasingly popular throughout companies across the nation. One aspect fueling the growth of the BYOD movement is the demand for work/life balance and flexibility. A study conducted by Cisco found employees who are allowed to use their own devices in the workplace felt a greater balance between their professional and personal lives.
Not only is the desire for a work life balance growing, but the “gig economy” is also on the rise. In 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 55 million Americans are independently contracted, or “gig workers.” The gig economy is built on mobility and flex schedules. As the gig economy grows, so too does the BYOD trend. This flexibility requires employers to allow employees to use their own devices, and ultimately work from anywhere with an internet connection.
3. Employees demand a healthy and ergonomic workspace.
The BYOD trend has also attracted employees who have an
increased awareness about workplace health and ergonomics. Nearly 78 percent of
employees believe employers have a duty to help
them stay healthy and provide a comfortable workspace.
At home, people choose technology they feel comfortable working with. It makes sense then that these same workers often request to use their own devices to fuel their work productivity levels and comfort. For example, the same people who use mechanical keyboards in their gaming spaces often prefer the same tactile feel in the workplace. Employees who are allowed to use the technology they are most comfortable with increases both productivity and workplace satisfaction, overall.
Not only does it increase morale and productivity, but it also saves the company money. When employees are allowed to use their own computers, keyboards, and headsets, they are also more willing to spend their own funds on technology they use for work.
4. Companies who implement BYOD must invest in network security.
Critics of BYOD question the security of company information being shared among employees’ personal devices. While this concern is certainly understandable, this issue can be alleviated by investing in the right networking infrastructure. In addition to investing in the right digital framework, employers can manage the flux of devices in their offices by outlining a clear written policy for personal device use. Finally, all BYOD policies are not created equal. Each workplace and company environment has unique needs. Finding the right balance that fits your needs is crucial to the success and safety of your organization.
5. When BYOD is out of the question, don’t settle for cheap computer equipment.
Though the advantages of BYOD seem to outweigh the disadvantages, some employers simply cannot offer it to employees due to the nature of their work, privacy and security concerns or the environment of their organization. We would strongly encourage employers to consider the features that help employees work at their best. Finding products that are durable, reliable and ergonomic should be a top priority. One pitfall some companies fall into is purchasing computer input devices solely based on cost. This often results in broken equipment, which impedes worker productivity. Worse, you’ll only end up paying more out of pocket over time.
6. The future of BYOD is already here.
Smartphones have blurred the lines between our professional and personal lives. Though BYOD was once a rarity among companies, it has quickly turned into a standard across all industries. With the increasing flexibility of the work environment, the concept of a 9-5 workday and leaving work at the office will continue to fall to the wayside. Employees will continue to request use of their personal phones, keyboards, mice, headsets and other devices.
The future of BYOD has officially arrived.