How Your Start-up can (and Should) Benefit from Employee-Owned Technology

  

Starting a new business brings plenty of excitement and challenges. Among those many challenges is acquiring technology that will help your startup operate at maximum efficiency with minimum cost.

The recent Bring Your Own Device programs that have popped up have been developed as a response to employees who requested access to company programs and files through their personal devices. This allowed them to carry just their personal phones, and eliminated the need to carry two.

It essentially requires employees to use their own smartphone and other devices for work-related tasks. This is a huge money-saver, and there are other benefits as well.

You might be reluctant to adopt a BYOD policy because it does come with its own challenges, but with careful planning, you can conquer those challenges and really enjoy the benefits. Here are the ways in which your startup can and should benefit from employee-owned technology.

Reduced Costs

Benefit from Employee-Owned Technology

Image via Flickr by 401(K) 2012

It’s difficult to estimate exactly much money you can save by implementing BYOD, but most recent reports suggest companies can save a significant chunk of cash by trying out the program.

The results of a Cisco study shows that companies can save up to $3,150 per year for each employee who participates in a comprehensive Bring Your Own Device program. That estimate reflects ideal conditions, of course, and takes more factors into account than just reduced tech costs.

One factor that could greatly influence this figure is whether the company opts to reimburse employees for their out-of-pocked expenses for maintaining their devices. Data plans and repairs account for $734 each year per employee.

Companies can choose to reimburse employees for all, part, or none of their out-of-pocket expenses. These are all important decisions that must be taken into consideration before implementing one of these programs.

Increased Productivity

The study mentioned above credits the money-saving outcome of BYOD programs to increased employee productivity. It says that “BYOD employees are gaining a global average of 37 minutes of productive work time per week,” with an average in the United States of 81 minutes per week.

For the US, that comes out to be about 70 hours per year. When employees can comfortably use their own devices to work in a way and at a time that suits them, motivation and efficiency have been shown to increase.

When employees are motivated and efficient, it builds confidence and enhances overall productivity. Letting your employees bring their own devices makes everyone happy.

Greater Employee Satisfaction

The sense of freedom and control that comes with owning their own devices is in itself a step to increased employee satisfaction. It is even better when they have tools that help them keep track of all of a device’s functions.

Devices with the BlackBerry 10 operating system are particularly useful in this regard, because they feature BlackBerry Balance. In effect, the BlackBerry becomes two devices, but the user only has to become familiar with one system.

When you bring your own device with BlackBerry, you have a tool that keeps real life and work life in their proper places. This added flexibility will increase your employee satisfaction and office morale. After all, happy employees are productive employees.

Reduced Risk of Theft

Whether your company is a small startup or a giant corporation, continuously replacing hardware that is stolen or broken is a huge, unnecessary expense.

When you decide to adopt BYOD for your startup, you have the added benefit of greater protection for your assets. Employees take their devices into the office for work, and take them home when the work day is over. Any thieves who break in will find very little tantalizing tech to steal.

In addition to employees keeping their devices on their person at all times, since they are ultimately the property of the employee, it is their responsibility to maintain it. This includes repairing it if it breaks and replacing it if it’s ever stolen.

Free IT

When employees take responsibility for their own devices, your IT team will spend less time troubleshooting and more time thinking up innovative business solutions. IT will still need to invest time and resources in making sure that your BYOD environment is secure, but it beats running helter-skelter trying to keep up a bunch of old company-owned equipment.

The bottom line is that the amount of money saved by implementing a BYOD program is more than likely going to vary from company to company. There are many factors to consider, and each company will choose differently, according to their values, beliefs, and business needs. That said, implementing the program will save money – the only factor in question is how much.

Yes, the benefits of BYOD are many and wonderful, so go ahead, carefully plan out your strategy, and then jump in. The splendors of BYOD are waiting for you.

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