It seems new mobile devices are hitting the market every single day, touting exciting features and innovative advances your employees cannot get enough of. So, it’s probably no surprise when employees want to use their devices for work, whether it’s for convenience or efficiency. Tell them they have to leave their shiny new tablets at home, and you’ll likely have some unhappy campers. But allowing personal devices for business, without a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy, may not be wise for your company.
There are definite productivity and cost benefits to allowing employees to use personal devices for work purposes. For example, when you have cloud-based communications that integrate mobile devices with the office phone system, employees can be productive wherever they’re working, or even off-hours, and maintain a consistent business presence.
To make everything go smoothly and keep your network safe with BYOD, a wise approach is to have a detailed BYOD policy for your employees to follow. Here are five important topics that you should cover in your BYOD policy:
1. Require All Employees to Keep Devices Updated
Bugs happen. However, with cloud technology, companies can quickly release new versions that fix the problems. To keep your employees productive on their mobile devices, make sure that everyone installs all updates to their mobile devices for both apps and operating systems.
2. All Devices Must Be Password-Protected
We all do it: leaving a phone on a restaurant table or, worse, in an airport. Because of this, it is essential that all employees accessing company files, networks, and applications have a password they change regularly on all devices.
3. Set Up a Process to Remotely Access Company Data
Sometimes you’re lucky and the phone is still on the table. Other times, not so much. Passwords provide a basic level of protection, but when the network administrator of the phone system has the ability to remotely access company data, you can have additional peace of mind that the data is kept safe.
4. Communicate What’s Allowed During Business Hours
Okay, so it’s possible that your employees have some web-surfing habits that aren’t work-appropriate. That gets tricky if the devices are their own and they want to use social media or other personal apps while in the office. Since Twitter has professional applications, it’s probably fine; Reddit, on the other hand, is most likely not work-related. The best approach is to designate that NSFW material cannot be viewed on devices at work — and hopefully everyone agrees what “not safe for work” means.
5. Consider MDM
A big BYOD challenge is maintaining privacy between company data and personal information. By using mobile device management (MDM) technology, a wall separates the two on the employee’s devices, and the company can only access the work portion. MDM also gives the employee privacy from the company accessing personal data.
By being proactive and having a clear BYOD policy, your network and employees will both be happy.
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