Weâ€™ve all heard about the benefits associated with formally embracing a â€œBring Your Own Deviceâ€ (BYOD) policy in the workplace: It increases employee productivity, saves on costs, and makes employees happy. However, what too few people are discussing is the possibility of using BYOD to attract the right kind of employees. After all, a recent Unisys report found that 44% of potential job-seekers are more willing to investigate a company if they offer personal iPad support. Add to that the growing number of iPhone and other smart-device users, and you have a substantial chunk of the workforce that views BYOD as an important feature in an employer.
This all makes sense when you look at it from the point of view of a prospective employee. Most new hiresâ€”especially those from Generation Yâ€”already own a mobile smart device of some kind. Thus, having a company supply them with a second, work-only device is completely superfluous. No one wants to have multiple smartphones or tablets on their person, and having to alternate between the two when juggling business and personal calls and contacts could get frustrating very quickly.
Businesses are beginning to realize that, rather than having to draw a distinct line between work and leisure, employees prefer to be able to do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done.
Add to that the increased flexibility and comfort from working with a familiar device, and it only makes sense that the younger generations will want a company that supports BYOD.
Still, BYOD isnâ€™t all advantages. While it is being used to attract the best new hires in the field,it may also catch the eye of certain less-desirable employees. BYOD creates some very well known security problems that could be easily exploited by someone with the desire to do such a thing. By allowing sensitive company data to be accessed by personal devices, the company essentially loses control of it. That data can be copied and shared without restriction, thus potentially compromising valuable company information. To protect themselves, companies will need a detailed BYOD policy, and the digital security to enforce it.
However, at least for now, it seems as though the rewards of BYOD outweigh the costs, and nowhere is this more true than in relation to attracting employees. And as time moves on, more and more employees are going to demand that their employers allow BYOD in one form or another.
With the Millennial Generation slowly moving towards becoming the majority in the modern workplace, most employers are going to find that their workers are more connected and personal-device dependent than ever before. There certainly seems to be a connection between younger workers and a desire for BYOD policies, with six out of ten workers in their 20s and 30s relying on personal devices to do their jobs. These younger employees may not currently make up the majority of the workforce, but as older workers retire and their positions are filled, more and more Millennials will flow in to replace them. Thus, for a company to be competitiveâ€”perhaps not today, but in a few years from nowâ€”theyâ€™ll need to be not simply BYOD supportive, but rather theyâ€™ll need to be BYOD reliant.