Should Your Company Implement a BYOD Policy?

Should Your Company Implement a BYOD Policy?

Confident Businessman portrait in a conference roomCompanies that establish a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program allow employees to bring their own digital devices to perform job-related tasks. The federal government joined the trend and issued a BYOD tool-kit to aid voluntary implementation in certain government agencies. BYOD can be a smart move for all concerned. Still, the reality of employees using their personal digital devices for work-related tasks is a new idea for most businesses.

It will take time for companies to get a feel for how BYOD will impact their business operations. Until they have enough experience, it’s important that they seek professional guidance. A business transaction lawyer can develop a policy that addresses the potential professional and legal issues. As some employees use commercial cloud services to store and access work documents, BYOC should be addressed as well.

The Benefits of BYOD

Even with potential professional and legal complications, a BYOD program can be an important business tool. There are a number of advantages.

  • Reduced Costs for digital devices, maintenance, and replacement
  • Reduced digital device training
  • Increased productivity due to familiarity with devices and 24/7 access

The potential issues?

When a business authorizes BYOD in the workplace, it can provide a list of proven benefits. There are drawbacks as well.

  • Employees who use personal devices to access social media will continue receiving and responding to notices.
  • Productivity gained may be reduced by unmonitored online activities during business hours.
  • Employees who lose their devices, fail to pay the bill, or their devices stop working, may be left without tech tools to perform their jobs.

There are Legal issues

With remote working, shared jobs, and now BYOD and BYOC, companies straddle the line of employee control vs autonomy.  When employees use their own digital devices, it’s difficult to control what they say or do on the company’s behalf.

This lack of control can also cause companies to lose control over data, intellectual property, and customer’s personal and business data. The legal responsibility for their company-related actions will still fall back to the employer.

A BYOD policy

Before a business establishes a BYOD/BYOC program, it’s crucial to set forth a policy that clearly outlines additional employee duties and employer expectations. Any policy should include a schedule of disciplinary consequences for failure to comply. It should be in writing, signed by each employee, and regularly monitored for compliance. A business transaction lawyer can help businesses accomplish this important task.

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