Last updated: 16.03.13

UK firms 'increasing uptake of BYOD schemes'

The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend is one that many employers at present are finding helps to relieve the administrative burden and improve workplace training.

According to editor of HR Zone Jamie Lawrence, schemes of this kind are often a talking point among employees both in and outside a firm's IT department and consumer preference - as opposed to corporate direction - is driving the decision about what technology is used for in the workplace.

Mr Lawrence cited a recent survey of small and medium-sized companies carried out by BT Business, which found more than three-quarters of managers allow employees to bring their own devices to the office, while nearly half (47 per cent) can go on their own laptops.

This means more people nationwide are being given the opportunity to work more flexibly and enjoy greater levels of mobility, as well as benefit from increased job satisfaction.

Employers will also notice BYOD makes their workforce more productive, efficient and communicative - indeed, a recent iPass survey of 1,100 mobile workers stated individuals who use devices for both work and personal reasons put in 240 more hours every year than those who do not.

It was noted by Mr Lawrence that when implementing a BYOD policy, bosses need to analyse employee device preference in order to develop an understanding of the gadgets they have already bought. "A BYOD programme that does not support current and intended purchases will have limited appeal", he said.

The expert further claimed managers must include all employees' desired mobile platforms in the scheme, without creating any security gaps. This could include paying attention to asset management, encryption, password policy, remote lock/wipe and email and Wi-Fi configuration.

Firms may also want to take advantage of their workers' enthusiasm for technology by rolling out e-learning, as although some people will not own their own tablets or smartphones, the method of education can work across a wide range of devices if properly constructed, even if using flash.

In this online space, employers could upload training resources and offer staff the chance to develop their skills in a way that is hassle-free and cost-effective.