Updated: Jun 18
How many of you have attended a potluck before?
Well, I’m sure many of you reading this have indeed been to one before, where you are required to bring your own food to an event!
And at this point, if you are wondering what a potluck is, I am sad to say that you have been living under a rock!
So similarly, nowadays, workplaces are requiring employees to BYOD, or Bring-Your-Own-Device. What this means is that the technology trend nowadays is becoming like a potluck – where employees are allowed to bring and work on their own personal PCs and smartphones.
Why Companies are moving towards BYOD?
Then you may ask me, “Why would I do that?”
Well, let me ask you – why wouldn’t you?
Here are a few reasons why companies are moving towards BYOD:
You’ll Cut Costs
First of all, there’s the reduced overhead costs that come from not needing to supply your employees with a device.
BYOD is a smart move for cost savings, as well. According to the Cisco report, companies with a BYOD policy in place save on average $350 per year, per employee. For Small to Medium Businesses (SMBs), this cost savings can add up fast, and can enable SMBs to better protect their bottom line, while improving employee productivity and morale.
Companies gain an extra 240 hours of work per year from employees due to mobile working Source: Fliplet
BYOD seems like a good deal for enterprises. Studies are finding that productivity, employee morale and accountability improve in tandem with reduced hardware and networking costs. A CITO Research report concurs, finding that more than half (53%) of all workers polled feel they’re more productive when they have their own devices.
These employees also send 20 more emails per day.
About 30% of employees check their work email before the official start of the workday – between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m.
One of the pros about the BYOD program is there is no time lost to “get to know” the device. This makes sense because workers are familiar with their own devices and interfaces, decreasing the learning curve and improving usability. This is the equivalent of $5114 extra work per employee. Or six additional working weeks.
A Frost & Sullivan study sponsored by Samsung quantified the time savings, unveiling that using personal devices for work activities saves employees 58 minutes each day, providing a 34% increase in productivity.
Increased Employee Satisfaction
If you have not been good in math all your life, well here’s an equation you will definitely understand:
Happy employees = Productive employees = Happy CEO
People want balance between their personal and professional lives. Another Cisco study found workers feel more balance in their professional and personal lives when they’re allowed to bring their own devices into work.
Smartphones are Ubiquitous
If you go to work by public transport, be it by bus or MRT, you can just observe for yourself the number of people who will get neck problems in the future. In fact, this is such a common problem that there is even a term for this – “Text Neck”.
So if it’s not obvious enough from all the oblivious commuters glued to their mobile phones, let me spell it out to you – smartphones are ubiquitous and the preferred device.
In 2020, there will be 10 billion personal mobile devices in use!
What you probably don’t know is that BYOD employees own an average of 1.7 devices for work and spent around $965 out of their pocket.
Smartphones increase productivity by 34%. Source: Samsung Insights
These stats tell us something simple. BYOD is BIG. And obviously, it’s here to stay.
Appeal to the New Generation
Many industries, such as manufacturing, are realizing that if they want to attract the talent of today and tomorrow, their IT policies need to change to suit the tech-savvy outlook of millennials.
“If you hope to attract GenY technology professionals, your IT strategy better include a bring-your-own-device plan that plays to the strengths of this tech-dependent generation” CIO
Millennials are predicted to make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025.
And with baby boomers retiring at a rate of 10,000 per day, the trend of catering to generation Y’s working practices is only likely to increase. This means that more sectors are gradually embracing BYOD policies.
Moreover, 69% of millennials believe regular office attendance is unnecessary. As millennials will represent 50% of the workforce in 2020, their opinion should matter. 74% of them want flexible work hours. And nowadays, it’s not a problem to send a work-related email or do a large number of other jobs in a park, instead of an office.
But what are the disadvantages of a BYOD workplace?
Less Control over Hardware
The most glaring negative is that when every employee brings their own device to work, IT departments lose almost all control over the hardware. They can’t control what apps or programs are installed, how the devices are secured, or what files are downloaded.
Previously, these elements would be locked down by strict policies in order to prevent privacy breaches, hacks, and viruses. An inability to control the hardware means more vulnerabilities. An employee may innocently click a link, unaware that they’re downloading a Trojan horse virus, or use a torrent program to download illegal files.
This is a prime example of tradeoffs involved in BYOD. Offering greater flexibility to employees meaning potentially exposing the company to danger.
Difficulty Retrieving Data after an Employees Quits or Is Fired
If you haven’t had a nightmare recently, well here is one that might haunt your sleepless nights:
A problem employee quits or is fired, taking with him thousands of valuable, or even confidential files. Suddenly the company must scramble to retrieve the data and hope that he doesn’t do something rash.
And while the employee most likely signed an agreement regarding using company data, there’s no guarantee that he’ll keep his end of the bargain in his disgruntled state. To prevent such events, companies must have plans in place ahead of time for how to deal with these situations.
“What? Didn’t you just say that BYOD will improve my company’s productivity?”
Well, yes and no. BYOD advocates will definitely say that it will increase employees productivity. However, it may also hurt it. I mean, yes that brand new iPhone Xr has some great new business apps that allows you to do work even while you are not at your desk. However, it also has Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Candy Crush, Pokemon Go, and a hundred other distractions. Hence, it is incredibly easy for an employee to be sucked into the endless black hole of related YouTube videos, Instagram and