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The Pros and Cons of BYOD Policies

Posted by Eric Friedman

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‘>Does your company allow you to bring your own device? BYOD is becoming an increasingly popular way for companies to cut down on costs, raise work satisfaction, and even allow for more flexible work hours. But what are the real pros and cons when it comes to dealing with BYOD, specifically within the HR profession? We’ve compiled a list of issues that come up when HR professionals use this type of policy in their workplace. After you’ve read through our list, let us know what you think. Are you for or against BYOD?

‘>Security: The biggest issue surrounding BYOD for HR Professionals is the security aspect. When HR professionals use their own devices, it simply multiplies the number of networks and applications data is being accessed through. And with the vulnerability inherent in IT systems, there isn’t a sure way to prevent systems from becoming even more compromised if BYOD is implemented in your workplace.  This is especially critical for HR professionals, who are constantly accessing confidential data.

‘>Data Protection: Similarly, data protection can be compromised when BYOD policies are in place. If there is any question about secure data being misused it for any reason, or inadvertently being accessed by others, there are serious legal implications. The ICO guidance recommends a number of security measures which employers should put in place in order to avoid breaching their data protection guidelines. This ranges from auditing the amount of data access that’s allowed and making sure data is protected by PIN or access codes, to limiting access to secure data to certain in-house computers.

‘>Wage and Hour Issues: Working from home? Well how do you know that the amount of time you’re putting into work at home is truly reflective of the same amount in the office? Every HR pro knows that non-exempt workers must be paid for any work they do, whether it’s authorized or not. That’s why many don’t give these employees access to company-owned devices.

‘>Storing Company Info on Personal Devices: As you can tell, security plays the biggest part in determining whether a company should implement a BYOD policy. Any time private information is stored on a personal device, it creates a variety of issues for the legal department. Every employer has policies in place for recovering a work phone, but they are not always able to request that data be deleted from a personal device they don’t own. If a firm adopts a BYOD policy, it’s likely that sensitive company info may be stored on personal devices. This is why more and more companies are providing smart phones to employees in certain positions, which they use as their personal and work device.

When considering the implication of a BYOD policy, you need to take these issues into account. And you also need to consider that laying down a blanket policy that bans all personal devices may only push employees to use them in unmonitored and unapproved ways. What do you think? Should companies allow BYOD for HR professionals? Or should it be restricted? Let us know how your company is handling this issue.

More and more, companies are letting employees bring their own device from home, in order to cut costs and increase work flexibility. But this policy carries some serious risks.

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About Eric Friedman

Author


Eric Friedman is the founder and CEO of eSkill Corporation, a leading provider of online skills assessment for pre-employment selection and training. Since 2003, eSkill has tested millions of job candidates for employers worldwide such as Zappos, ADP, Coca-Cola, Randstad, and GE. With academic degrees in Psychology and Business, and experience with both mature and expansion-stage company growth, Eric has focused on how to hire and motivate team members to be the best they can be for their roles.
To learn more about Eric and eSkill, visit the company website at www.eskill.com , or contact him on LinkedIn.

4 COMMENTS Join the discussion
  • Connor Biggs December, 19, 2013

    When we allow our employees to bring their own devices to work we place ourselves into the risk zone. What bothers me the most about BYOD policies is how to ensure you get back all the data stored on employees’ personal devices when they decide to leave?

  • Stanley Wilden December, 19, 2013

    Even though BYOD policy may be risky and not completely beneficial it still has lots of pros about it. Firstly, it’s cost-effective and secondly, it can boost productivity, because if a person enjoy the process of work they do it quicker and of better quality.

  • Daniel December, 20, 2013

    I don’t think that BYOD can literally boost productivity, because allowing employees to bring their own devices may lead them to believe they’re free to do as they please at work, which could translate to lower productivity.

  • Tina December, 20, 2013

    A very interesting point is that a lot of employees simply refuse to use their own equipment for work. Why? The explanation is very simple: companies aren’t usually willing to pay for wear and tear of the employees’ equipment even though 80% of time it was used for work related issues.

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Guest December, 20, 2013