Bring your own device (BYOD) policies are something more and more employers are integrating into their workspaces, offices and general business model. Integration of personal laptops in offices creates a more efficient, mobile, integrative team-building environment, allowing employees to work together while relying on the best technologies from anywhere.
Whether it’s developing a new business plan for clients, or employees using their 2-in-1 devices to collaborate and connect wirelessly from virtually anywhere in the workspace, improve work capacity is achieved when a policy is well-implemented into the organization’s framework.
BYOD Policy Team
Have a policy board to manage the implementation of BYOD policies in the work environment. Representation should come from different department-heads within your company’s infrastructure, to ensure different needs, viewpoints, and mentalities are accounted for when managing the BYOD policy in your company. Have IT professionals, legal professionals, members from finance, comprise the policy team management division, giving employees in each of these departments their own voices in deciding how the program should operate.
IT & HR Go Hand-in-Hand
IT departments are in charge of developing the infrastructure, security features and technical measures of the BYOD policy. With this being said, HR departments must step in as well, because a BYOD policy falls into the realm of employment issues. If employees abuse the system, don’t use it as intended, or are using personal devices for personal enjoyment (rather than work-related purposes), these are issues HR departments typically handle. HR departments have to understand the infrastructure of the policy and the tech-aspects of BYOD policies, to ensure proper enforceability.
Standardization is Critical
In environments where employees are bringing their own device to work, companies should maintain control of a centralized OS, software and programs employees use to complete their work. For example, 4G LTE laptop platforms offer a great deal of flexibility to employees working on them. Some benefits include faster Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity and backward compatibility with 2G/3G networks. What’s more, these devices rely on an all IP network which is cheaper to integrate new equipment into the work environment. And lower latency on 4G devices means devices can easily process high volumes of data with minimal delays.
Implementing a BYOD policy relying on 4G operated devices also allows employees to share, integrate, develop and seamlessly connect with one another. Integrating Windows 10, relying on a single web browser (Chrome, IE, Firefox, etc.), implementing the use of the same apps on all devices, and programs used to complete projects, helps employees interact, work on the same task on different devices and avoid making errors when working in a collaborative environment with team members.
Who Owns What? (The Legal & Security Aspects of BYOD Policies)
Prior to implementing the BYOD policy, determine if the employees or company own the apps, software and programs installed on their devices. Additionally, when company information and possibly sensitive client information is being shared on personal devices, these areas can get sticky if employees quit, are fired, or otherwise choose to leave the company. Make sure policies are in place, fully describing ownership, use, sharing and security policies which will be implemented, once the BYOD policy takes effect.
Security is also critical. Implementing employee PINs, secure wi-fi, up-to-date software, encrypted devices and continually backing up software and data, help companies devise a sound BYOD policy.
Don’t Recreate the Wheel
Of course, every company is going to have its own specific parameters in place when devising a BYOD policy for their organization. However, why recreate the wheel when there are so many BYOD policy templates already created? Rely on what other successful companies have done, and implement your own nuances to meet your company’s specific goals. No one-size fits all solution exists; so, take the templates, and rework them in a manner which works well for your organization.
Make Sure Employees & Management are on the Same Page
The policy should be flexible and targeted in the same breath. It should clearly indicate which programs, software, OS and apps can (and can’t) be downloaded. The BYOD policy should have properly implemented security policies in place, and with data breach being a major concern today, companies must have security officers and cyber insurance policies in place. When the proper framework is in place and employers give employees the freedom to work on projects with their own devices, employees feel more comfortable and greater work product will follow.
BYOD policies are great in many work environments. With these parameters and guidelines in place, any company can easily implement a policy in the organization, which works for the business, employees and clientele.