Mind Your Own Business: How BYOD Affects Employee/Employer Trust

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As you know, we like to talk about the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend here at Windstream—for both enterprise and small businesses—and how the trend affects employee engagement. Until now, we’ve overlooked an important component of BYOD policies: the employee.

BYOD is a great solution for employers, saving significantly on costs by eliminating the need to purchase devices for their employees. It also provides “anytime, anywhere” access to company networks, maximizing efficiency and erasing traditional 9-5 workday boundaries. As long as the inherent security risks are properly managed by IT departments, BYOD policies can be an ideal option for employers.

But where does this policy leave employees? According to a recent article published by CIO, many employees are reluctant to participate in a BYOD policy. The article suggests that some employees may be fearful that, like a real-life Michael Scott in an episode of The Office, their employer may take advantage of having access to personal data. With the current national buzz surrounding privacy and related violations, there is a valid and heightened sensitivity spilling over into the workplace.

Put your skeptical minds at ease, workforce—BYOD policies do not actually give your employers access to your personal data (such as personal email, text messages, videos, photos or browsing history) even if it does live side-by-side with company information on your personal device.

However, it is important to remember that the elements of the device itself are still accessible by your employer. Using the company Wi-Fi network, employers can see details of the equipment, including battery level and location, as well as corporate data, such as email or company applications.

Two BYOD must-haves are communication and transparency—in both directions. Employers have valid concerns regarding cost control, employee efficiency and security management, while employees have the right to personal privacy. Implementing a comprehensive, two-way BYOD policy protects both parties, while increasing mutual trust within the relationship.

Looking to strengthen your employees’ trust in your organization through an effective BYOD policy? Or maybe just to reassure them that you’re not another Michael Scott? Windstream’s trusted advisors are ready to customize a solution that works for your specific business needs—just click here to get in touch with one today.