BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, allows employees to work from and access company data from their smartphones and tablets. Many businesses have begun adopting BYOD policies as it gives their employees not only a sense of freedom but because it also saves the company money on tech costs. Telecommuting has risen in popularity with both employers and workers, and a BYOD policy offers a way to ease that transition and make the process more effective.
Although BYOD seems straightforward, there are a few integral factors that must be taken into account in its implementation; namely, security and efficiency. There’s also the matter of making the policy worthwhile to employees in the first place.
Many enterprises expand their BYOD policy to include all personal devices employees elect to use for connecting to the corporate networks. This means proper utilization—establishing clear and effective security protocols—is paramount to developing an all-encompassing solution to how these devices should be used, and how the company can ensure that device and its use are not abused or compromised.
Introduce apps that manage security functions and add protection against malware
Utilize policy management tools that your employees can download, but be sure to inform employees about what these apps will do and make sure not to access their personal applications. People want to know that their own private information is protected, and they’ll be much more cooperative with your BYOD policy knowing that it won’t invade their privacy.
Integrating security apps like anti-malware can also prove beneficial to employees who may not be protected against viruses. Highlighting the benefits of your policy management tools can further incentivize employees to follow the BYOD policy.
Operate with transparency and inform your employees about the details of the BYOD policy
Consent is a must if you’re to operate with transparency. Employees should know the ins and outs of the BYOD policy so that they can both understand what they’re agreeing to and so they also honor the rules and expectations your company has set forth. If you’ve decided to implement your own BYOD policy, it’s important to remember that doing so is benefitting you and the employee. The policy and its stipulations should not seem one-sided or as infringing on a person’s privacy.
Even when an employee has agreed to such policies, their sense of ownership is unwavering and they could become wary of particularly ambiguous BYOD policies or software that seem to invade their personal information, like contacts, app use, and messages. This is why it’s beneficial to be upfront with what your expectations are, such as how they should use the device while connected to the corporate network, or what kind of security that should use so that unwanted access can be prevented or reduced.
Regularly update your security settings and apps, and give employees a choice
Keeping your policy management tools—your apps, software, and rules—regularly updated is the soundest way to ensure the success and longevity of your BYOD policy.
Software is only as good as its updates, and if you fail to patch your apps to prepare them for the newest threats then it becomes a useless data-wasting program. Those are the kind of apps users neglect and eventually delete. With regular updates, you can demonstrate that you take your own policy seriously, and show employees that their devices along with the company networks are worth protecting.
If you’re proactive with your security and managing apps that can ensure proper policy management, then you can give employees a choice. By letting them install the apps they prefer and know of, you’re allowing them to retain that sense of freedom and ownership.
Establish helpful boundaries to keep employees happy
Working from anywhere can be a great thing for companies and employees alike, but sometimes BYOD can result in workers never quite leaving work at the office. Naturally this can lead to stressed employees on the verge of burnout. Along with the BYOD policy, include boundaries, such as sticking to a certain work schedule no matter where the employee is or can access their work files from.
One of the challenges with BYOD is that convenient access and temptation to tackle a last-minute project at two o’clock in the morning. Helping employees maintain a healthy distance from their devices and allowing them ample personal time when they’re not supposed to be working can go a long way towards reinforcing the benefits of BYOD.
The path to a BYOD policy that works for a company is two-fold: ensuring that the employer’s security requirements are met while maintaining the cooperation and trust of the employees. A compromise between security and privacy can allow businesses to lower operating costs by supporting the use of employee-owned mobile devices. If you want to see if your BYOD is sound, give us a call and we’ll let you know what we think.