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Mobile devices have become such a popular computing medium that they’ve infiltrated the workplace. While the business owner might feel that these mobile devices can help employees gain more regular access to corporate data for more working hours, these same devices could potentially eat up those work hours with time wasted on mobile gaming or other recreational apps. What’s the truth about BYOD? Let’s find out.
Your employees have smartphones that are chock-full of productivity-boosting applications that have the potential to streamline the way they work throughout the day. However, these devices also come installed with other consumer-popular applications like YouTube, Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, and more, that are notorious for destroying productivity.
Let’s not forget the games that are compatible with smartphones, either. These devices are able to run certain games similar to those found on popular handheld gaming systems like the Nintendo 3DS. Obviously, playing these kinds of games while on the job doesn’t make the ideal worker, and as an employer, you’d quickly ban your team from engaging in such fruitless activities. Therefore, the smartphone should also be fairly limited in use in order to facilitate proper operations during the workday.
For example, let’s take a look at a report by Evolving Workforce Research:
Nearly 60 percent of employees feel work would be more enjoyable if they had a say in the technologies they used, while 60 percent feel they would be more productive with better IT resources (like BYOD).
Mobile device manufacturers love to use these kinds of statistics in order to show you, the business owner, how great mobile devices are for productivity. However, if you take a closer look at this quote, it states that 60 percent of employees feel they would be more productive. That’s like saying that you feel so great you believe you can fly; an over exaggeration that isn’t true.
Therefore, having a productivity-increasing device isn’t the same as using it for its intended purpose. It’s sort of like buying a nice new piece of fitness equipment, like a treadmill, and letting it sit in the corner collecting dust. Just because an employee has a sweet new smartphone, doesn’t mean that the only thing they’ll use that phone for at work is to be productive.
Of course, the opposite can be true as well. An employee can be more productive with BYOD, as displayed by this study from Cisco:
BYOD-ers save an average of 37 minutes per week with BYOD as it is currently implemented in their companies. The United States leads by far in terms of current productivity gains per BYOD user, with 81 minutes per week, followed by the United Kingdom at 51 minutes. In both of these countries, BYOD-ers posted impressive gains by working more efficiently and being more available to their colleagues and managers.
This study shows that there’s some proof that BYOD can be useful for employee productivity. BYOD can potentially save some time during the course of the workday. But, of course, the question that’s hovering over every employee’s head is whether or not they want to use their extra time for work, or to waste time on their phone.
One particular aspect of BYOD that business owners must always consider is the fact that more devices accessing your business’s network means that there are more avenues for threats to sneak into your systems. Security should be a top priority when using BYOD for anything, and if you don’t have security on your mind, productivity in-turn suffers due to vulnerabilities, threats, and hacks.
BYOD generally requires more measures that must be taken compared to companies who don’t allow it. Ultimately, it’s up to you as the business owner whether or not you want to allow your team to bring devices to the workplace. If you do, make sure your network is ready to deal with them.
If your business is on the fence about BYOD, contact NTConnections at (703) 288-9767. We can help you determine whether or not it’s worth the risk for your business, and how you can integrate corporate BYOD policies that maximize security.