To adjust to the changing nature of the workplace, an increasing number of companies have begun to adopt Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) polices. Companies know that adopting a BYOD policy is a way to become a competitive employer, as employees enjoy the freedom of being able to do their work wherever they choose, not having to be tethered to a desk.

Although a BYOD policy can be mutually beneficial to both employees and employers, it poses unique challenges to organizations. Companies are left to determine the best ways to handle issues like document management, information security, and a lack of personal relationship between remote employees. Thankfully solutions like video conferencing and Internet fax software make it much easier for BYOD employees to collaborate from anywhere.

If you’re thinking of creating a BYOD policy for your organization, learn about some of the challenges you may face and how to overcome them.

Challenge #1 — Document Management

A major hurdle for employees working remotely is managing the important documents they need to get the job done. Employees need the ability to complete work on one device and retrieve the updated document on another. Not only do they need this for their own purposes, workers collaborating on projects must be able to access the same documents for a BYOD policy to be effective.

Software solutions like Solgenia offers a mobile document management platform that synchronizes files in a central repository, allowing everyone to always have access to the latest versions. Additionally, the company takes document management one step further by offering Internet fax software, so remote workers can easily send, receive, and share faxes without having to ever touch a fax machine.

Challenge #2 — Lack of Face Time

When people work in a physical office environment, it’s easy to connect with one another. It becomes a lot more difficult when employees are working remotely. Many BYOD organizations have taken up video conferencing as the way to conduct virtual meetings. Teams with members across the country, or even the globe, can use video conferencing to collaborate on projects, share status updates, and more. Messages can easily become misconstrued over email and chat, as you can’t always tell the context behind the words. Video conferencing allows workers to feel a connection, even when they’re 1,000 miles apart.

Challenge #3 — Security Breaches

You want to keep your company’s secure data protected, which can be difficult in a BYOD workplace. When employees access company documents on their own unsecure devices, your private data can easily get into the wrong hands. That’s why it’s essential to reconfigure your network to support a variety of mobile devices, prior to initiating a BYOD policy. The HP Business Network white paper, “Re-architect Your Network for BYOD,” explains how to do just that. The company suggests segmenting your network to allow only necessary users to access ultra-private information, installing a tool that can identify the type of device an employee is using and other pertinent information associated with it, and to update your systems to allow IT to limit an employee’s access to business data when necessary.

Challenge #4 — Too Many Devices

The number of tech devices that consumers have to choose from seems almost limitless. A company with 100 employees could very well have 100 different devices to support, which can get costly. As a result, many BYOD organizations have adopted a policy of supporting a collection of specific devices. This helps IT departments to better serve employees, as there are fewer types of devices to support.

While this can be a very effective rule, it’s also important for companies not to get too specific with the types of devices supported. This would actually result in more work for IT departments, as they would constantly need to update the system to be compatible with new devices. Employees would also likely not be as supportive of a BYOD policy if they could only choose from a small number of devices. Instead, it’s best for everyone if your list of approved devices are those that simply operate on the same platform. For example, Tech Republic recommends a BYOD policy allowing any device that supports Exchange Active Sync.