BYOD: A double-edged sword for HR
Consumerization of IT has clearly shifted the impetus for change in an organization from the management to the employees. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is one such change driven by employees – they have a bigger say in the technologies they use in the workplace.
Today’s tech-savvy workforce owns better, more advanced technology at home as compared to what is provided at work. This, if adopted systematically, can deliver significant benefits to the organization in terms of reduced hardware costs and greater flexibility for the employee, resulting in improved productivity, work-life balance and retention.
In the current high-stress work environment where work hours stretch beyond 14-15 hours, work-life balance is nearly non-existent. This, in the long run results in lower productivity and burn out.
With BYOD where employees can access work systems on their personal devices provides flexibility through mobility. They do not have to be in office to do their work which means they save on travel time which could increase productive time and time for personal activities. By allowing the device of individual choice, you are letting him/her work on a device he/she is most comfortable with. This makes job more enjoyable resulting in better job satisfaction.
While heralded for the flexibility and functionality, BYOD raises many challenges for the employer. Personal devices at work could act as a distraction with games, social and other apps cutting into productive time at work. One of the biggest risks of BYOD is data loss which can be devastating to any employer. It is nearly impossible to control the various types of devices used by employees by the tech team, especially in large organizations. This could result in malware attacks impacting corporate systems.
One of the solutions to this is to espouse CYOD – Choose Your Own Device – where the company approves a list of devices which the employee could choose from allowing better security and control for the IT team. This and many more considerations are to be made before embarking on the BYOD journey. HR has a key role to play in drafting these new work policies and practices along with the IT team.
There has been tremendous progress in this space with more and more companies wanting to allow BYOD/CYOD as they see tangible benefits of attracting and retaining talent in the long-run – a must-have to be the employer of choice for the next-gen workforce.