Recruiting During Coronavirus: Part 5 – Bring Your Own Device

May 13, 2020
| VP of Recruiting Services - Jeff DeModna

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WHAT IS THE BRING YOUR OWN DEVICE (BYOD) POLICY?

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) refers to the trend of employees using personal devices to connect to their organizational networks and access work-related systems and data. The employee would be allowed to use their own personal devices such as phones, laptops, tablet for work.

In 2020, the expected growth of the BYOD market is estimated around 15%, and that was prior to the coronavirus pandemic forcing a majority of the workforce remote. According to AccessData/CCBJ survey, almost 70% of organizations allow employees to use personal devices for work, and the number is increasing. The biggest reason employers are instituting this is because it helps mitigate initial costs. As companies grow, these practices tend to continue due to the ease of use and cost efficiency.


CAN WE REQUIRE THIS POLICY?

A big question for human resources management teams regarding laws and regulations is the following, “Can BYOD be required?” An employer can require a new employee to use their own technology such as a laptop, phone, tablet or all of the above. Although legally they have the right to not reimburse for technology bought due to a BYOD policy, it is rare to find an organization that doesn’t try to accommodate a new employee to some degree.

Typically, employers will suggest that a new employee use their personal devices, but having alternatives like company laptops is a common perk. Other companies offer a benefits packages such as a technology allowance in the $1000 range in order to cover your initial needs, and have it renewed annually to cover upgrades, new resources or anything else an employee may need to work efficiently.

BYOD could also be regulated by state laws and regulations. For example, California requires employers to cover many of their employees’ business expenses, including providing reasonable compensation for personal devices used at work. Be sure to confirm your states’ guidelines before implementing.


THE ADVANTAGES OF BYOD 

  • Cost: Not buying a phone or laptop for every employee adds up. 77% of Americans own their own smartphone and that number jumps to 92% with Millennials.
  • Convenience: Having one phone that handles your personal and business needs is easier to manage than having multiple phones and numbers. People can also be more comfortable with certain types of equipment.
  • Modern Technology: It is a huge cost to make sure an employee’s technology is constantly up to date. It has been proven that people are more likely to upgrade their own devices than an employee provided device.


THE CHALLENGES OF BYOD 

  • Increased IT Support: When every employee has the same equipment, it is easier to image the platforms they are using. Different devices will require different setups and pose varying limitations.
  • Security Risks: When a device is used for both personal and business use, it opens itself up to a much greater security risk. An organization can control what systems the employee implements for business needs but personal apps, website selections and social media can prevent major security issues on a device that houses company data.
  • Intrusion of Work-life Balance: It can be hard for a remote employee to take off their work hat especially when it is at their fingertips on their smartphone. Your HR management team should impose technology guidelines with best practices, including how to turn their dual threat devices off when it is time.
Here are some best practices if you decide to implement a BYOD policy.
  • Set Standards: Identify what is necessary whether it is how current a model is allowed, what manufacturers, memory size and speed.
  • Keep It Simple:  Great user experience is necessary to make sure people are following the proper protocol. Not only is dealing with login issues frustrating and can be bad for morale, but it also opens up the possibility of having your employee look for workarounds that might not suit the security needs of the organization.
  • Create a Self-serve Process:  Create an in-depth playbook on how your employees can access certain files, sites and dashboards. Instructions on how to reset passwords, upgrade their systems or how to locate a lost device is key to a successful BYOD program.
  • Establish a Private Network: Utilizing functions such as VPN or other encrypted information gives the employee the ability to separate work and play. This will keep the device secure while not limiting what the employee uses it for on their own time. For other safety suggestions visit: https://www.veracode.com/security/byod-security
 

Are your HR technology standards up to date? Contact Extensis today to make sure your business is compliant with the latest BYOD laws and regulations.