Use BYOD to drive revenue! Boost productivity! Increase growth! Reduce costs! Sounds good, right? But how do you go about using BYOD for your workforce to get all of these benefits? Especially for a company that hasn’t even started utilizing mobile devices or still use company-supplied smartphones, the prospect of implementing BYOD can seem overwhelming.
Many companies currently offer company-owned devices to employees, but it’s becoming increasingly the norm for employees to use their own smartphones and tablets for work purposes. This practice is commonly referred to as BYOD (bring-your-own-device). There are a lot of things to consider when implementing a BYOD program in your business.
Having employees provide their own smartphone is a great opportunity for employers. Companies no longer have to be responsible for dozens or hundreds of devices handed out to employees (who may not be quite as cautious with your phone as they would with their own) Employees can choose whichever device they’re most comfortable using, and companies no longer bear the brunt of the cost of supplying the smart phone AND the paying the entirety of the bill.
In addition, companies are likely to have more effective and diligent employees. According to a recent report, workers are more productive and save an average of 81 minutes per week by using their own devices.
And, of course, you will have HAPPIER employees. I’m fortunate enough to telecommute 1-2 days a week. Luckily, working for a company like STL Communications, the technology I have available makes it incredibly easy to work from my home office as seamlessly as working in my cubicle. With my Avaya phone set to twinning, my co-workers simply need to dial my 4-digit extension and immediately get sent to my personal iPhone (plus, they have no idea that I’m possibly in my pajamas). If my day calls for me to run a work-related errand, I can still respond to emails, take business calls and update our social media while out of the office. This allows me to be a happy, productive employee with the fortunate opportunity and convenience of connecting to all of my work resources without having to be in a cubicle. Essentially, the world has become my cubicle.
Writing out a full BYOD plan is the best bet for any company allowing employees to utilize their personal phones for business purposes so all parties are fully aware of the expectations. Things to consider:
Compensation: Many companies already reimburse employees for a portion of their smartphone usage, but a court in California has actually ruled that companies MUST provide a stipend for employees who use their personal smart phones for work purposes. Any financial compensation for an employee to use their own phone should be planned and written out in advance so both employers and employees know where they stand.
Security: Sensitive emails, documents, photos, voicemails are all stored on phones. A plan needs to be in place if the phone is lost or stolen in order to eliminate any threat of company information being lost. Even everyday security is important to implement immediately upon use of the phone for any commercial purpose. Though a simple passcode to gain entry to the phone is an easy and effective way to protect vital information, passcodes can only provide so much security. When an estimated 43% of U.S. companies have experienced a data breach in the last year, you need a stronger, more reliable security plan.
For instance, Avaya Session Border Controller allows businesses to extend their UC environment outside the enterprise network securely with all needed capabilities, including encryption for signaling and media. The Avaya Identity Engines Portfolio takes it even further, creating a secure sign-on process that includes fingerprint authentication for access.
Personal Use: A downfall of an employee using their personal phone for work purposes is that the Facebook app (or Instagram or Twitter) is just so tempting that most employees don’t think it will hurt to spend a few minutes perusing the latest photos of their friends’ lunches when they should actually be reviewing notes or making phone calls. Expecting employees to stay off of personal emails or social networks entirely during works hours may be futile, so it’s best to set expectations of when they can use the phone for personal use (lunch, breaks, etc.) and keep an eye on those who seem to say “Look at this cat video!” a little too often.
So, how can STL Communications and Avaya help you implement a BYOD program that’s secure, user-friendly and designed to keep you and your employees happy? Stay tuned for the next (and final) blog in this series!