Seems like every time we turn around mobile device technology is changing and it is. In seasonal fashion, Samsung releases its latest and greatest Galaxy phone every spring only to be followed by Apple’s next level iPhone every fall. It’s great for tech hounds and early adopters, but not so great for cost conscious enterprises shooting for stable mobile deployments and predictable costs.
To further complicate matters, employees themselves have developed strong devices preferences; often preferring to bring their own rather that use company provided equipment. In the face of this rising tide, it’s little wonder that so many companies have fallen into Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategies. It helps keeps costs low and makes everybody happy or at least so it seems. If you talk with anyone in Human Resources or IT departments and you’re likely to discover some not so happy campers with legitimate security and legal compliance concerns.
Every business decision is a complex mixture of pros and cons; mobile strategies are no different and it’s helpful to understand both sides of the BYOD story. For our purposes here we’re going to focus on some of the human resource challenges presented by Bring Your Own Device strategies.
Human Resource Challenges
According to SHRM, the Society of Human Resource Management, there are numerous legal and compliance concerns including, personal privacy issues.
From the employee perspective BYOD open the door for real privacy invasions. To meet work requirements personal devices often become loaded with proprietary applications and sensitive data. As a result, many companies install device management and security applications that allow them to remotely lock, back-up and wipe data from the phone or tablets in the event the employee leaves the company or loses a device. Not a problem on a company owned device, but not so easy on an employee’s personal property that also happens to contain tons of personal data as well. Software of this type can also be used to monitor everything from location to searches histories and gain access to an employee’s personal data and email accounts as well.
There are numerous legal concerns too. Evidence suggests employees feel less constrained with their use of their personal devices and find it easier to engage in inappropriate behaviors like sexting, employee harassment and/or counterproductive behaviors like gaming or social media engagement while at work.
BYOD also increases employer exposure to liabilities under the Fair labor Standards Act for unscheduled overtime and companies are facing record retention challenges because they cannot ensure important company communications and documents are saved for the appropriate length of time which can lead to disastrous legal outcomes.
Expense management isn’t as easy as some imagine either. Many companies don’t provide any reimbursement for personal devices used for work and even if they do provide some sort of allowance, there is growing legislation like California’s Labor Code 2802 that requires employers to reimburse all of an employee’s work related expenses. Parsing through hundreds of individual carrier plans to figuring actual expenses would pose a significant burden on organizations and employees.
There is little question that most HR professionals shudder at the mere mention of some of these exposures and it’s important to develop a well thought out set of policy statements and strategies to protect both employer and employee.
If you’d like to learn more about these challenges and how Mobility Help Desk can help please call us today or click on this link Learn More and we’ll reach out right away. Thank You