BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is a movement which empowers workers through the acceptance of personal electronics and devices in the workforce.
There are numerous benefits of adopting a culture of BYOD:
- Workers are comfortable with their own devices (which aids in lowering the learning curve)
- Workers are able to access work-related documents at their leisure (without the need to physically be in office)
- Costs for equipping the workforce is dramatically reduced (since the hardware (and sometimes software) is present due to the workers)
In this short article I would like to take you through some of the preliminary ways you can digitize your workforce and tap into all these wonderful benefits of BYOD.
Equipping the Workforce
A digitized workforce relies heavily on the compatibility & flexibility of the hardware and software.
As far as hardware goes:
- iOS, Android, Microsoft, and Blackberry devices are more than capable of running the majority of software needed because of cross-compatibility
- You may consider providing the devices through the company account to ensure all individuals are operating off the same system
- Systems should be in place for those that do not have access to these devices so that they may, too, benefit from the digitized environment
For most, the hardware will come down to these options:
- Smart Phone – The “go-to” device that will allow your workers to check calendars, send emails, update documents, and attend meetings (on the go)
- Tablets – A step up from a phone (seeing the size) that will have the same capabilities of a smart phone but may be easier to use for certain employees and also provides a nice layer of security since there would be no outgoing/incoming calls
- Storage – A smart option for businesses going digital; a company can buy bulk flash drives for their employees so they may take their work home with them whenever they please
In terms of software there are a few that are recommended to keep workers in the loop:
- Cloud Storage – Such as Dropbox or Google Drive to synchronize documents
- Team Management Software – Such as BaseCamp or ActiveCollab that will allow workers to keep track of activities and tasks while simultaneously being able to update their activities and documents from a mobile device
- Online Training – These comprise of optional expenses but can be very favorable for teaching your employees the basics of what’s needed at your business or empowering them to learn new skills that will transfer over to their work
All-in-all what you are doing is giving access to business documents to your workers so that they may access them at any time whether they’re at the job, on the road, or if they are working remotely from home. The introduction of a BYOD culture is one that removes traditional barriers (such as restrictive access to information) within the workforce so that your employees may do their jobs to the best of their abilities having given the appropriate resources.
Best Practices to Remember
The benefits of a BYOD culture in the workforce greatly outweighs a few of the drawbacks. Here are some of those drawbacks and their best practices.
- Policy – Your business should implement a policy as to which devices are allowed on site to prevent any issues that may arise from incompatibility. The policy should also cover what is (and isn’t) acceptable usage of personal devices.
- Security – Every individual that uses a personal device should be taught security practices. Your business should convey the importance of privacy for the workers and the business documents they may be accessing from outside the businesses’ secured network.
- Diligence – Systems and programs that are put into place (such as cloud storage) are there to aid workers when accessing business documents. Once a system becomes large it may prove to be difficult to keep everyone (and file) in sync if workers do not fully understand these services. Train your workers (and use team management software) to ensure there isn’t overlap and that these workers are diligent in their reporting.
Bring your business into the 21st century by opening up to the use of personal devices at work. A workforce that is empowered by technology is a workforce that is capable of great things. There are many great benefits (as you have read) that will turn your workers into a strong, coherent, and empowered team.