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Employees feel pressure to use personal smartphones at work

Sarah K. White | Nov. 15, 2016
Businesses are encouraging employees to use personal devices for work purposes, but according to a recent survey, without a proper BYOD strategy and reimbursement plan in place, it might be decreasing productivity.

Gallo recommends building a BYOD policy that involves cross-functional teams, so that everyone can ensure their needs are met. BYOD policies are often ignored if employees find they inhibit their productivity or create more steps or headaches for them. Involving every department in the development of a BYOD policy will help ensure it's not only followed, but that it won't risk becoming a legacy program in and of itself.

Start reimbursing for mobile

Employers and employees aren't on the same page when it comes to the pros and cons of BYOD. Forty-three percent of employers said that they felt the main benefit of a BYOD program is productivity. However, 50 percent of workers said data restrictions on their smartphone reduced productivity, forcing them to wait until they have a Wi-Fi connection.

Workers are stressed about going over their data limits, incurring more charges because they can't connect to the Wi-Fi at work via their mobile or they're on the road and away from Wi-Fi all together. That means they're waiting until they get home or to a coffee shop to check emails, connect with colleagues or send files, ultimately delaying productivity.

With these growing expectations around BYOD, if you expect your employees to use their personal devices for work, it's important to offer some type of reimbursement. In fact, thanks to a 2014 ruling in California, reimbursement is part of the labor laws in a number of states. And even if it isn't a law in your state, know that the desire for these laws is strong; 82 percent of workers reported that they would like to see more laws that require companies to offer BYOD reimbursement.

Even though employees are calling for reimbursement, it doesn't seem to be the norm. The survey from Syntonic found that only 29 percent of employees say they receive some type of reimbursement for BYOD. A troubling number when you consider BYOD reimbursement is more than just another perk for workers; 57 said that they felt getting reimbursed for their smartphone did more than just save them money, it increased their overall productivity in the office.

Keep the plan simple

When developing your BYOD strategy, Eren says to keep it simple and to focus on privacy for your employees. "Employees expect their employers will not monitor, inspect, alter or destroy any of their personal content and apps under any circumstance," he says.

Eren suggests following a growing trend in IT: Rather than obsessing over hardware security features, determine the data that would cause the biggest threat, and figure out ways to lock that down instead of trying to micromanage every personal smartphone in the company.


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