Enabling Employee Mobility: No Place for a BYOD Ban
Guest Blog by Steve Haworth, CEO at TeleWare
Personal devices may be banned from the workplace for reasons ranging from compliance, through to data security or simply employer’s preference. For instance, earlier in 2018 it was reported that employees working in financial services were being prohibited from using their own devices for work or external communications after the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) inverted a rule within the MiFID II directive.
Within all industries, banning employees from using their personal devices for work purposes – and instead equipping them with company-owned devices – is holding back the shift to fully flexible working. Beyond that, it’s costing businesses unnecessary money.
Working from wherever, whenever
Whilst there is a belief that millennials are driving the flexible ‘work from anywhere’ culture, all age groups in fact have an expectation to organise their own working schedule within their working day. Research of 2,300 UK workers conducted by Censuswide for TeleWare reveals nine in ten (89%) employees find it important to choose the hours they work and where from. On top of that, today’s employees want flexibility and modernity in the tools they use at work. Putting up barriers that stifle productivity or personal contribution, such as banning the use of personal devices in the workplace, are unwelcome.
Employees are adapting to more modern ways of working and finding ways to balance their work-life and personal life. In fact, Brits are now turning down jobs because there isn’t a flexible working culture in place. TeleWare’s research reveals that almost a third (31%) of UK workers would turn down a job opportunity that didn’t allow flexible working – whilst a quarter (25%) have already done so. Businesses are being forced to embrace more flexible working practices to attract and retain talent.
Implementing the right solution
UK workers use mobile technology for almost a third (31%) of their working day. Of this, 40% use a mobile phone provided by their employer and just one in eight (12%) use their personal device for work. Given the significant amount of time that employees spend using mobile technology, allowing employees to use their own devices can lead to greater flexibility, productivity and increased employee satisfaction.
By making the switch to ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD), businesses could save money by not forking out for a separate handset for each employee. Once that decision is made, to retain control of confidential company data, businesses must actively manage connected devices and inform employees of basic security rules. This includes educating them on security measures such as using passwords, wiping a phone and how to report a stolen device.
Barriers to BYOD
Whilst the main concern of BYOD for businesses is security and protection of private data, for employees their biggest concern is work interfering with their personal life. Having work related apps and emails on their personal device adds to the ‘always on’ culture. More than six in ten employees (61%) have had their weekend interrupted by work, whilst 53% have had holidays interrupted.
A series of apps and software have been introduced in the last few years to help employees work flexibly, but also to switch off on demand. Communication software including Dual-SIMs (eSim) and call recording apps aren’t new to the market but are slowly growing in popularity. This is because they allow users to separate personal and business calls by having a work number and personal number on one device. For employees, this allows users to divert their business communications when they don’t want to be interrupted – during weekends and holidays, for instance. For businesses, it ensures employees still comply with any regulation that demands recording of communications – such as MiFID II.
Employers also need to mindful of the provisions of GDPR when implementing their mobile working and BYOD policies. As of May 2018, organisations are legally required to protect sensitive employee and customer data. Individuals must give consent to the collection of their data before it is obtained, giving them the chance to ‘opt out’. Modern applications and device management solutions can help here by providing separation between work and personal data on the device and providing encryption of data should an employee’s device be lost, stolen or compromised.