87 percent of companies currently allow employees to bring their own devices to work. Have we finally overcome the fear of BYOD by seeing its real benefits?
Let’s face it: the world is now mobile. Being tied down by desktop computers is a thing of the past, and the ways that computers can and should be used in the workplace is starting to be reevaluated by businesses across the country and the world.
With mobile devices making communication and production easier and more efficient than ever, more and more businesses have started to adopt a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) workplace policy (in fact, 87 percent of companies currently allow individuals to bring their own devices to work). And not simply in response to the times or because they can, but because such workplace practices have shown to produce real benefits.
A Tool That Provides Many Rewards
The term “mobile device” is a bit of an ambiguity. While it’s understood that it refers to devices that are, well, mobile in nature, it may not be understood that it doesn’t only refer to smartphones. Mobile devices also include laptops and tablets amongst other electronic tools.
Though the BlackBerry BYOD revolution of the early part of the 21st century was recognizable and easy to pin down – in that it referred specifically to a new workplace culture in which individuals accessed emails and other communications through their own BlackBerry handsets – the new BYOD trend is more pervasive and wide-reaching.
Increasingly, employees are providing all of the tools that they need in the course of their workplace duties: smartphones, tablets, laptops, and even accessories. If this seems drastic, it is only because such a shift in the industry has shown to be beneficial for employees and employers alike – these benefits being:
Improved Employee Morale
It may seem counter-intuitive that employees furnishing their own workplace tools would improve morale. After all, such a practice involves cost on the part of the employee. In practice, however, this philosophy doesn’t place a financial burden on the employee in as much as it provides the freedom to use devices that he or she already owns. There’s no need to acclimate to new hardware and software, as the employee is already familiar with the tools.
The production increases associated with BYOD workplace policies result not simply from the benefits of mobile computing, but also due to greater familiarity with hardware and software. By allowing individuals to use their own mobile devices – including laptops, tablets, and smartphones – you are in effect allowing them to choose the tool they feel is best fit for the job. Mechanics have long since purchased their own tools; the BYOD policy adopts this philosophy for the white-collar workplace environment.
More Efficient Communication
This benefit is fairly self-explanatory. Mobile devices make mobile communication possible, which means employees are never out of reach. Email, WiFi-enabled Skype, and cellular phone service have brought the future of communication, long envisioned in such pop culture staples as Star Trek, into the present.
Reduced Overhead Costs
In the past, procurement costs were something that needed to be carefully measured, lest a business quickly overextend itself in the purchase of needed workplace devices. In fact, many businesses would have to take out loans for such purchases, meaning that by the time the business were able to reinvest in tools and technology, the existing infrastructure would be hopelessly out of date.
A BYOD workplace policy eliminates both of these downsides: a business can reap the benefits of the most state-of-the-art technology without having to make but the most tertiary investments in management software.
Reduced IT Requirements
With every employee running essentially his or her own operating system on a privately held device, the BYOD workplace policy greatly reduces a company’s IT requirements. If a hardware or software failure occurs, it is the employee that needs to see to its repair, not the employer. This frees up IT departments to develop proprietary softwares that can be pushed across network, and focus more on network management and security.
The Future is Mobile – And It’s Here
If your business hasn’t yet adopted a BYOD workplace policy, just wait – it will. The numbers don’t lie and mobile computing is here to stay. Thankfully, this staple of 21st century technology has shown to provide nearly limitless benefits.