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What to Know About BYOD Policies in the Workplace

What to Know About BYOD Policies in the Workplace

BYOD is a term that refers to “Bring Your Own Device.” It’s something employers are increasingly introducing, and employees seem to be in favor of it for the most part as well.

Mobile devices are particularly important in the age of technology. The use of mobile devices and the accompanying software and apps promote centralized visibility, streamlines communication and improves productivity.

Just as an example, because of AP automation and expense management solutions available through mobile access, employees have an easier time keeping track of expenses when they’re traveling for work. Then, the accounts payable department and the people in charge of approving and processing expenses also have a simplified experience.

That’s just one example of where a BYOD policy is relevant. However, how do you make it work? The following are some key considerations, from both the perspective of the employee and the employer.

Employers Need to Specify Allowed Devices

If you work for a company with a BYOD policy, you might understandably believe that extends to all devices. However, is that the case?

It’s important on the employer’s end to figure out and layout which devices are allowed. For example, can employees use their mobile phone, but not their tablet? What about laptops? Are there specific types of mobile phones that can’t be used?

Security

Security issues are some of the biggest obstacles to implementing a successful BYOD policy. It’s important first and foremost that the employer has a very clear, defined security policy in place. On the employee end, following these security requirements is a necessity. As an employee, you may not want to have a password or a locked screen on your device, for example. However, if you were to lose your device or have it stolen, the consequences could be serious for you and your employer.

Employees should have anti-virus software or a firewall on the device they plan to use.

Something else to consider is the risk of accessing Wi-Fi that isn’t secure. This is particularly relevant to employees who frequently travel for work, and especially the ones who travel abroad.

Employees are likely to access connections at places like the airport, hotels, or restaurants and cafes. Unsecured wireless networks can pose a serious threat to the company’s networks, so employers should proactively have guidelines in place regarding how employees access Wi-Fi.

While security should be a top priority with a BYOD policy, employees need to feel like it’s well-balanced with their own sense of personal autonomy. There has to be enough authority to protect the organization, but not so much that employees feel like their freedom is taken away.

Plans for Employees Leaving

Finally, employers need to have plans in place not only for when employees are with the company and using their own devices, but also a plan for when employees leave. This includes employees who quit or who are fired.

How will the devices and the information on those devices be managed? What’s the protocol for wiping devices of company information when someone leaves? These are all important things to think about before rolling out a BYOD policy.

Business

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