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So many different fields of work utilize mobile technology in order to make work easier, more efficient, and more organized. Whether or not companies provide the equipment or allow employees to use their own – known as “BYOD” – depends entirely on their own preferences as a business. 

There are many reasons a company may decide to implement a BYOD (bring your own device) policy in the workplace: it can help cut costs, eliminates the need for employees to own multiple devices, and also leaves any maintenance and repairs in the hands of the owner rather than the company. However, there are also many drawbacks to allowing employees to use their own devices for work. Having access to personal devices at work means employers may not be able to track employee activity and keep on top of productivity. This can lead to staff engaging in non-work-related activities on company time. With staff having access to personal mobiles and computers, employers cannot restrict certain apps and websites without the permission of the device’s owner, which means they cannot keep tabs on how much time is spent on actual work tasks.

There is also the issue of compatibility. If employees are using their own devices, there will be a range of Apple, Windows, and Android devices, meaning the programs and software used are limited to those which are compatible with all types of devices. Providing a specific enterprise device allows employers to choose the one that supports their favored software, and, it reduces the risk of incompatibility between employees. This also means that employers can keep track of which software is used and ensure it is up-to-date and working securely and correctly, which minimizes the risk of employees being unable to get work done collaboratively due to technical errors.

Explore the challenges and risks associated with BYOD in the workplaceBYOD also poses a higher security risk. This is because the information used in the workplace is accessible from personal devices, which others can access when the owner takes their device home. Huge risks come when accessing information unsecured on these personal devices. Employees who use their own devices at home or on public networks and work are at risk of losing information to hackers who steal information through unsecured networks or databases, which cannot be controlled outside of the workplace. While BYOD may be favorable for some, it is more secure and more productive for employers to provide devices for employees to use for work or take security measures such as enterprise mobility management or device management (EMM/MDM) to ensure data is safe and protected. In contrast, enterprise devices are often configured to run only on specified secure Wi-Fi networks at the place of business. Also, transporting equipment to and from their home and the workplace means increases the chance for these devices to be lost or stolen, meaning confidential and important information can fall into the hands of people who may misuse it. There is also more risk of employees leaking information, whether by accident or on purpose.

And, when it comes to safety in the workplace, consumer devices require multi-step processes to call for help in an emergency. This multi-step process required on a consumer device can waste precious seconds in an emergency situation. Many phones that have been purpose-built for enterprise have one-touch panic buttons. Often, these enterprise devices can be programmed to call 911 or request assistance following the company’s protocol, which means help can be summoned quickly and quietly.

Finally, durability, battery life, and overall product lifecycle are typically less strong on consumer-grade devices. Most consumer devices require the purchase of separate cases to protect phones in case of drops or spills, whereas enterprise devices like the Spectralink Versity 95 do not need any additional cases to withstand harsh and demanding environments like those found in manufacturing or healthcare. Plus, a case adds weight to the device, making them bulkier to carry around. And, consumer devices require you to take the entire device out of use to charge the phone, whereas enterprise devices often feature separately chargeable batteries, requiring the purchase of fewer phones to outfit staff for shifts, particularly in 24/7 environments. Finally, the average consumer device needs to be replaced every 2.5 years to keep up with technology and withstand environmental demands. At the same time, the lifecycle of many enterprise smartphones, according to statements made on their respective websites, is closer to 3-5 years.

In short, BYOD may seem like a cost-saving and ,more straightforward solution at first, but in the long run, your business will save time, money, and aggravation by equipping your teams with purpose-built enterprise devices for use on the job.

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