5 Guidelines for BYOD Workplaces

5 Best Practices For A Bring-Your-Own-Device Workplace

  • Use It For Business Tasks While At Work
  • Install Proper Antivirus Software
  • Focus On Security
  • Adhere To Company Policy
  • Track Business Expenses

With the growing popularity of allowing employees to use their personal devices at work, it is necessary to understand some important guidelines for BYOD workplaces. Employees need to adhere to BYOD policies set forth by their employers at all times and follow some critical best practices to avoid running into trouble. Following these guidelines should reduce the risk of problems occurring.

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1. Use It For Business Tasks While At Work

Employees should avoid using their personal devices for personal purposes while at work. When the device is serving as a work device, it should be used as one. Of course, personal issues will come up and employees will occasionally need to check messages or answer calls from friends and family members, particularly in an emergency. Nonetheless, usage should be focused on work needs. With laptops, for example, separate user accounts can be set up for personal and work use.

2. Install Proper Antivirus Software

This is a requirement that is likely to be listed in any guidelines for BYOD workplaces. Depending on the company, employees may be required to install a particular antivirus product or simply have one from a list of acceptable options. Browsing on sketchy sites or downloading unsecured programs can result in a device infected with spyware, malware and other pieces of malicious software that can not only harm the employee’s personal device but create substantial security and functionality issues for the company.

3. Focus On Security

Security is another major area where employees who use their own devices at work need to be careful. The loss or theft of a personal device with access to sensitive company or client information could be disastrous. Forbes notes that there is good software available to help businesses manage outside devices and mitigate their risk. Companies with a BYOD policy will typically have requirements regarding the security features employees should activate on their devices. Features that might be required and are a good idea to use include setting a passcode, enabling any “find my device” features, using alternative access options such as fingerprint recognition and iris scanning, and more.

4. Adhere To Company Policy

As previously mentioned, employers who allow BYOD usually have a written policy to go with it. What is outlined in that policy supersedes all other pieces of advice and recommendations by outside sources. Employees can choose to follow a stricter personal code for using their own devices at work if they feel company policy is too weak to protect their personal devices. Employees who feel company policy is too strict or invasive of their privacy have the option of getting a separate work device, opting to use a company device or, in a worst-case scenario, finding another job.

5. Track Business Expenses

Employers typically have a reimbursement policy in place to cover business expenses incurred on a personal device, particularly for mobile data charges but possibly for app purchases, digital payments made on behalf of the company and others. Some companies give out a set monthly stipend but others give the responsibility to employees to track and report expenses for reimbursement. Employees need to keep track of these expenses correctly to avoid getting in trouble or not being reimbursed for what they are owed.

Some employees prefer the simplicity of using a single device for both work and personal use, and many businesses are adopting the idea as a way to save money. Adhering to some standard guidelines for BYOD workplaces can help employees thrive under this kind of arrangement.