What Your Employees Need To Know About BYOD
Over to you Kim
When a company develops any rule, policy or best practice and communicates it to its employees, putting it into context helps the staff understand why it exists, which makes it easier to respect and observe the policy. So, as a company builds a rule for employees who use their own devices to access company-owned data and information, it should keep in mind that they don’t respond well to “thou shalt” style commandments. A good BYOD policy explains the benefits as they apply to the company and employee.
Why Does My Company Have BYOD?
A Gartner survey found that 38 percent of surveyed CIOs indicated they would stop furnishing mobile devices by 2016. As more companies do this, employees who once had to juggle a company-issued BlackBerry with their personal Nokia flip phone will be happy to simplify their lives. The reason a company has a BYOD policy is twofold: One, it protects the company’s information and technology from hackers and viruses. Two, it protects the employees from liability if their devices are hacked or damaged.
Acceptable Use? Can They Tell Me What to Do With My Device?
“Acceptable Use” sections spell out what the employees can do with their devices while at work or conducting business on behalf of the company. So, if a company doesn’t want its staff using Facebook or visiting illicit sites, it has the right to require that. The reason a company writes Acceptable Use policies is to remind employees that these devices can become distractions. More importantly, it protects the company if an employee uses the device in an illegal or improper way during work hours. BlackBerry includes technology specifically designed to clearly separate personal and business use. This makes it impossible for an employee to copy data from the work side and paste it into the personal side. It also draws a clear line as to what an employer can look at and manage on your device.
Megan Berry provides a template for companies that write their own BYOD policies on ITManagerDaily. She says the ‘Devices and Support’ section covers who handles what when devices need to be configured or when something goes wrong. The reason for this section: It helps the employee understand who to go to when they have software and hardware problems and questions. This section also usually goes over which devices are covered, helping employees when it comes time to upgrade their phones or buy new smart devices.
If I Use It For Business, Does The Company Reimburse Me?
The answer to this question will vary from business to business. Some companies will reimburse employees for a portion of their mobile expenses. Whatever the policy is, the company should explain how it arrived at its decision. A company that doesn’t reimburse for any BYOD expense might explain that employees may a portion of their mobile phone expenses as deductions on their Canadian or U.S. income taxes.
Why Would The Company Restrict My Apps?
Some BYOD policies include restrictions regarding the type of apps employees may download on their phones. ZDNet lists these as some of the top blacklisted apps:
- Angry Birds
- Google Drive, Play Movies, Music, Hangouts
Only a small portion of companies issue blacklisted apps to employees, with manufacturing and service industries being among the most likely. The company might include this in its BYOD policy if it wants to eliminate time-wasters or it might limit file-sharing programs like Dropbox for obvious proprietary reasons. The best practice is to explain the policy to the employees and offer alternatives to them so the banned apps don’t create inconveniences for their personal uses.