How to ensure employees can work securely and effectively on their own devices
With the rapidly-changing world of technology, it’s impossible for businesses to keep up to date with the latest gadgets that can aid their employees' work.
It would take an immense amount of research and time to constantly find the best tech for your employees.
So it’s hard to even imagine how difficult it would be to distribute, help with the set-up, and provide assistance with all of the gadgets your employees could use.
It’s inevitable that working from home will be the norm for a long time, as 77% of employees have said that they want to continue working from home, so it’s important that your business has a clear plan.
What is a BYOD policy?
This is where having a robust ‘Bring Your Own Device’ policy could really be beneficial for your business.
To put it simply, a BYOD policy allows your employees to use their own devices to work. These devices include everything from laptops, tablets, phones, headsets and anything else your employees could use to assist them with their work.
Your employees will inevitably use their own kit in some shape or form. By and large, people prefer to use their own kit that they’re already familiar with rather than using unfamiliar hardware provided by their employers.
You’re probably thinking that this is an easy (and cheap) solution to remote working, however, there is a lot to think about before implementing your BYOD policy, and this is what we are going to explore below.
Why is a BYOD policy good for your business?
One of the obvious reasons that BYOD is a great thing for your business is the cost. Buying the equipment, distributing it and even training employees on the new tech can be time-consuming and expensive.
Allowing employees to handle it themselves is clearly a more cost-effective option.
Many employees would certainly appreciate a little financial help to buy all their kit, of course, but this is still a cheaper way for you to provide your employees with their at-home set-up.
Keep up-to-date with the latest tech
As we mentioned earlier—and as you’ll already be aware—technology is forever changing and it’s just not feasible for your business to provide your employees with all the latest tech.
A BYOD policy lets your employees do all the research themselves, and choose the devices that they know will work best for them.
Cons to having a BYOD policy
Compromising data security
If you have your own business, data security is probably often at the forefront of your mind. And with the added difficulties of remote working, it’s important that you take this into consideration before implementing your BYOD policy.
With employees using their own devices, it is easier for them to steal, share or unknowingly compromise confidential information.
Personal devices, weak passwords, or data being exposed through public Wi-Fi networks can enable hacking or malware to enter your systems, since these will not possess the same robust security measures that your office equipment would have.
Setting clear security protocols or investing in programs that will allow your employees to make secure connections to the company network can mitigate these risks.
Employee privacy concerns
Many employees may be wary of employers tracking their work from home. But employers find that monitoring apps are a must-have to ensure employees are not doing anything they shouldn’t be doing when working from home and accessing their business’s systems.
On top of this, employees might not be comfortable with their work-life encroaching on their personal life.
How to implement a BYOD policy in your business
Establish your security policies
Now that your business’s sensitive information can now be accessed from your employee’s homes, you must put the correct security policy in place and make all your employees aware of this.
As well as ensuring your employees use strong passwords, you should also consider having minimum required security controls for devices, be aware of where data will be stored, and include inactivity timeouts.
Consider whether you require employees to download a mobile device security app, and you should also think about your remote wipe policy, for if your employee’s kit is ever lost or stolen.
Create an acceptable use guide
An acceptable use guide will ensure that your employees are free from distraction, as well as keeping your systems free of viruses or malware.
Your acceptable use guide should include things like what websites are permitted while the device is connected to the company’s network.
It can also cover what types of company-owned data employees can access from their devices, as well as keeping your employees aware of what disciplinary actions you will take if someone violates the policy.
It’s important to know what you’re getting into before implementing your BYOD policy for your business. It is certainly a great way to ensure efficiency and provides a cost-effective way of allowing employees to work from home safely.
However, it pays to be aware of the risks and the difficulties that you will face when setting this up and make sure that you have a policy in place for any hurdles that you may face.