Once upon a very recent time, the size of one’s device collection was the ultimate professional status symbol. You weren’t a somebody unless you had a work Blackberry in one hand, a personal iPhone in the other, and a vast multitude of laptops at your disposal.
But as smartphones get smarter and the lines between work and play become blurrier, employees are beginning to favour a more streamlined approach to communication, preferring to consolidate their professional and personal lives rather than switching constantly between the two.
As a result, employers are under increasing pressure to implement comprehensive BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies, and to give their employees the autonomy to work the way they want, when they want.
Gone are the days when the ultimate work perk was a sparkly new laptop, decked out with the latest version of Microsoft Office. Today’s employees want to be in charge of shaping their own working environments, and that means having the flexibility to access information how they want it, no matter where they might be.
This might sound like music to the ears of business owners, who are essentially being encouraged to let their employees shoulder costs they would otherwise have borne. Sounds like a pretty great deal right? But the undeniable benefits to a business’s bottom line are offset somewhat by the risks BYOD poses to company confidentiality, not to mention the slew of compatibility issues that tend to arise with a multitude of devices and operating systems in play.
As a result, some enterprises have been hesitant to jump on the BYOD bandwagon, concerned that opening up their networks might result in massive data breaches, and see their employees spending their days editing photos and engaging in endless games of Angry Birds.
But while BYOD is certainly something that should be approached with caution, its risks are significantly outweighed by its long-term rewards.
Here are four reasons why you simply can’t afford to ignore the BYOD movement:
By giving your employees technological free rein, you’re empowering them to do their jobs better, and enabling them to operate within an environment with which they feel most comfortable. Not only does this promote engagement across the board, but it also helps to reduce productivity barriers, significantly slashing the time spent trying to solve technological glitches.
FLEXIBILITY = PRODUCTIVITY
The more accessible your data is to your employees, the more likely they are to use it in productive ways. Not only does a single, consolidated communication device make life more convenient for members of your workforce, but it also makes them more capable of doing their job on the go, thus dramatically increasing the potential for productivity in your organization.
SAVE MONEY AND TIME
Of course, one of the big attractions of BYOD is its ability to diminish costs. In fact, according to a study by Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group, enterprises can look to save as much as $3,000 annually per employee with an effective BYOD policy in place. And it’s not only money you’ll be saving. In fact, the same study suggests that time is also a resource you’ll have in greater supply with BYOD, with up to 81 minutes saved by each employee on a weekly basis thanks to greater ease of use.
ENJOYMENT IN EMPLOYMENT
At the end of the day, BYOD can make work life a whole lot more fun for employees, who are able to break free from the shackles of Excel and the like and actually exact enjoyment from the tasks they’re performing. If the computing experience becomes more pleasant, so too does the work, which means you’re likely to see your employees putting in more time and feeling a whole lot better about it too.