When it comes to BYOD, or bring your own device, many questions arise including whether or not the practice is beneficial for small businesses. If you’re unfamiliar with BYOD, it’s the concept of allowing employees to bring their own devices, such as smartphones, tablets and computers, to work and use them on the company’s network for work-related purposes.
In just the past two years, more and more businesses have picked up on the trend, and by 2017, estimates show that half of the world’s companies will have a BYOD policy in place. If you’re a small business owner who’s still unsure about integrating BYOD into your own practice, check out these benefits that BYOD can have for small businesses.
Increasing Employee Productivity
Among one of the top benefits of BYOD for big businesses and small businesses alike, people are seeing an increase in employee productivity. In fact, 62 percent of employers with a BYOD program say that the number one reason they have a program in place is to increase employee productivity. An employee can actually regain up to 57 minutes a day with a BYOD program.
In addition, one study shows that 18 percent of small businesses are seeing over 30 percent in productivity gains when they adopt mobile work styles. Part of this mobile work style includes BYOD since employees will be able to stay in touch with work on their personal devices while away from the office. Let’s look at some reasons why BYOD results in more productivity:
Employees have the flexibility to choose which platform to use, meaning that they can use the platform they’re most familiar with and productive on.
Workers can stay connected to work from anywhere, giving them the freedom to work when and where they want.
Employees feel more satisfied with their own devices, helping them get their work done more efficiently.
Finding More Qualified Workers
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Believe it or not, BYOD is becoming an important aspect that potential employees look at before applying to a job. One study reports that “two-thirds of small business mobile device users believe their company would lose competitive ground without mobile devices.” This competitiveness isn’t just about reaching peaks in productivity and efficiency, but it’s also about attracting and keeping qualified workers since personal devices have become an important part of people’s daily lives.
Part of this trend is due to the fact that employees are more satisfied with BYOD programs than with company-issued devices. In fact, 61 percent of companies that allow personal device use experience higher employee satisfaction, and companies consistently rate employee satisfaction as the number two reason for integrating a BYOD program right after productivity. What’s more, 44 percent of job seekers say they view businesses more positively if they support their device. Some of the reasons for this include:
Employees love the flexibility that the company gives them, and they are more satisfied with devices that they already know and love.
BYOD leads to better work-life balance to help employees reduce their stress levels.
It’s more convenient for them.
Another one of the biggest benefits of BYOD is that it can save businesses money. One reason for this is that oftentimes the employee covers the costs of their device and service. While many businesses do offer refunds for this, it can still save you a chunk of money to have your employees responsible for part of the cost. When you cover a portion of the cost of the device or the service, it also helps increase employee satisfaction since they get a discount on their personal device.
In this case, it’s a win-win situation, and you don’t even have to force employees to buy their own devices. When given the choice between personal devices and business-owned devices, many employees are willing to invest in personal devices to bring to work. A Cisco study reports that their employees pay an average of $600 in out-of-pocket costs just to have their own devices at work. The same study showed that businesses can save an average of $300 to $1,300 per employee with BYOD.
But the cost of the device isn’t the only area where you’ll save money. You also have to factor in the increased levels of productivity and look at how much time and money you’re saving with that. Plus, since you don’t have to train employees to use new devices, you’ll be saving time and money on training.
Gaining Access to Newer Technologies
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It takes a while for a business to transition over to new technologies, but it doesn’t take long for an individual to transition on their own. One of the benefits of having employees use their own devices is that it can help your business transition to newer technologies faster, helping you keep up with trends for increased productivity and efficiency. Since employees are using their own devices, they can bring these technologies to the workplace quicker than a business can, helping your business utilize cutting-edge technology quicker.
Improving Mobility in the Workplace
As stated, many employees who use their own devices in the workplace also use them while outside of work. Turning toward a more mobile workplace can come with countless advantages. For one, you can connect with your employees at any time, whether it’s after work hours or if they’re on vacation. One report shows that 70 percent of smartphone users check their business emails regularly outside of business hours. Since BYOD somewhat blurs the line between work life and personal life, your employees are more likely to stay in touch when away from work.
But mobility does more than helping you stay in touch outside of business hours. It gives you the chance to allow employees to go on vacation or spend time with their family without actually taking off work, ultimately leading to happier, more satisfied and productive employees, which gives you an edge above your competition.
If you don’t already allow personal devices in your business, it’s an idea worth looking into, but the next step is deciding whether or not to put a policy into place.