I don’t think there has ever been a generation of workers so connected, so available at a moment’s notice, who can do their jobs from literally anywhere, thanks to personal mobile devices.
This BYOD or “bring your own device” mentality is the type of situation any sophisticated company should be happy to embrace, right?
Well, yes. And no.
We’re using our mobile phones and tablets to work from anywhere: train, plane or automobile. We hold meetings, communicate with customers, we create spreadsheets and financial models and literally run our businesses from wherever we are, day or night – just the way our growing workforce of millennials and others like it. Still, BYOD can sometimes be tough for a company to swallow.
Benefits and challenges of BYOD
BYOD has plenty of proven benefits. Studies have shown that employee satisfaction and productivity both increase when workers use their own devices for work. Mobile apps allow workers to review and modify documents, read and respond to emails, get messages and review calendars to see what’s planned for the day. And is there an employer out there who would shun a more productive workforce?
Yes – when the problems of BYOD arise. Remember Sony Pictures? The North Korean hack that caused Sony so much trouble happened largely because Sony workers were slapping their user credentials everywhere – on so many devices and so many apps – and no one was managing the vulnerabilities.
This doesn’t mean companies should stop allowing employees to use their own devices for work. It does mean companies need to be smart about BYOD by being prepared. How? The following recommendations can help.
Preparing for BYOD in your workplace:
It’s not just millennials – across the board, workers today are becoming more comfortable and more productive with BYOD than with the old, archaic desktop-based tools we used to rely on. Employers don’t have time to be ignorant or blind to BYOD – or foolish enough to think that BYOD can be completely eliminated from the workplace.
The answer? Work with BYOD. Appreciate and embrace it and let it work for you, too.
Allow work to live in a worker’s pocket or backpack so he or she can have the flexibility to dive in and work whenever the time is right. Because, frankly, if my own employees are more engaged, more productive, actively doing their jobs and giving me their best results because they’re working on their tablet while on a train, why would I want to stop that?