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BYOD in the workplace – pros and cons

‘Bring your own device’ (BYOD) is a piece of modern office culture that certainly divides opinion. With a sense of added freedom and flexibility, some employees much prefer to work from their own computers, tablets and smart devices. However, this practice comes with a number of notable drawbacks and should definitely be approached with caution.

Our tech experts have taken a look at the advantages and disadvantages of BYOD to determine if this style of working is a beneficial addition to the workplace.

What are the cons of BYOD?

Security risks

Perhaps the most significant disadvantage of a BYOD policy is the risk to security, with employee devices not possessing the advanced security measures that office equipment will typically have. Furthermore, if devices are lost, stolen or misplaced, this could lead to unwanted, third party individuals gaining access to confidential and sensitive information, particularly if these devices aren’t password protected.

Complex IT support

With all employees possessing the same computer, laptops, tablets and smart devices, it is much easier for the IT department to support staff and fix devices, should issues occur. With a BYOD policy in place, this process can become increasingly complex, with all individual pieces of equipment having their own individual needs and repair solutions. Further complications could occur when business-wide, custom software needs to be uploaded and/or updated across all devices. This process is most likely not going to be as streamlined and efficient as it could be if all staff were using equipment provided by their employer, possibly resulting in added costs to ensure all hardware is compatible with company software.

Unsecured Wi-Fi

With employees accessing their devices in their own time and outside of the workplace, there is an increased chance of them accessing unsecured Wi-Fi connections, which can provide hackers with easy access to company systems and networks.

What are the Pros of BYOD?

Cost savings

With a BYOD policy in place for your business, the need for hardware such as laptops and work mobiles, will significantly decrease. Additionally, employees will typically be more inclined to take better care of their own equipment, further reducing the possibility of having to provide alternatives should they damage or lose their own property.

Efficiency

With so many brands on the market, each with their own individual functionality, it’s inevitable that a proportion of staff will have to go through training to become familiar with the equipment provided by their employer. With BYOD, staff are already familiar with their hardware and often have an extensive knowledge of its features and capabilities, due to regular use. In regard to new starters, this is particularly beneficial, as they can essentially ‘hit the ground running’.

Up to date tech

With budgetary restrictions in place and an often, large amount of people to cater for, businesses aren’t always able to provide their staff with the most advanced hardware. However, the majority of devices that employees bring to work are of a higher quality than those originally provided. This could result in better presented and more thorough work being produced, thanks to additional features and more dynamic functionality.

Increased flexibility

Should a member of your team not be able to get into work because of extreme weather conditions, household emergencies, unwell children, etc, a BYOD policy will allow them to continue to work, regardless of their location. For employees wishing for a more flexible or remote working life, BYOD could be the ideal solution to ensure they remain as productive and accessible as their onsite colleagues.

Whilst we don’t recommend a BYOD policy for larger organisations, this could be a suitable option for start-ups and SMEs. If you do decide to introduce a BYOD policy into your business, we would strongly suggest you develop a security plan that clearly outlines regulations for employees to follow, in regard to safety and security. Providing sufficient information on these regulations and the consequences of not adhering to them, will assist you in avoiding any risk to data being compromised.

We’re currently offering an IT health and security review, completely free of charge. If you’re interested in a review for your business, please contact our team on 01952 221 327 or email enquiries@networktelecom.co.uk.

 

 

 

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