How interesting it is to see Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies already set for 60 percent of the workplace. Even more interesting is by next year, the number will jump to over 90 percent. What strikes me are the success metrics many are quoting. It can lead to a set of myths or ideas that I think may lead decision makers down a wrong path.
According to this article by TMC Net, the extremely rapid rise of BYOD has led to increased employee satisfaction, productivity and creativity. While those factors are most likely true, I don’t think it’s the main driving force.
It’s money. Pure and simple.
Employees that are more engaged and happy with what they are doing should be important to companies, but do they really think that bringing your iPhone to work will result in that? The same article states another survey where employees that can work from wherever they want, whenever they want can produce five to ten more hours of work a week. You can do that with or without BYOD policies.
Another stat states that three out of every five employees said they don’t need an office to be productive. Again, I could do that with a company issued laptop.
Many companies, once upon a time, issued secure company phones for employees that needed them. Not everyone got a phone, and afterwards many didn’t want one either. Allowing employees access to networks and company email was merely a small price to pay to get access to their phone numbers so they could be put on the clock whenever.
Having been in that position many times, I don’t mind being asked to do critical work at off hours. The great work I have been a part of never rests sometimes. As a result, being able to have access to my necessary information via mobile device allowed me to have just one device with me at all times.
My laptop isn’t viewed as a luxury anymore. It’s a burden. I don’t take it with me to meetings because it’s annoying to see me looking at it instead of the presenter. Instead, I can access email and IM through my phone and keep it out of sight. Once considered the expensive item not many needed, the laptop is now the device I only pull out every so often when I need to do some heavy writing.
Don’t let your employer fool you: they need you to want to bring your device with you to work. They want you to connect at all times so you can help get your project across the finish line sooner. Customers want access to support whenever they need. Managers need to put the monkey on their back somewhere else.
I remember when mobile phones were forbidden in my office. Now, it’s a requirement that is vital to companies regardless of whether they want them there or not.