BYOD means “Bring Your Own Device”. Companies all over the world are starting to move toward fully implementing BYOD policies. These policies are great for a company. They still have the security, they get more daily hours of productivity and they no longer have to pay for the devices. This all sounds great for business, but let’s look at the negative effects on the employees.
On average most employees who use company provided electronics, turn them off or put them away when they arrive home or are not on call. Having access to your work email and information on your personal phone, tablet or computer changes this. When a new email, text or phone call comes in during off hours to company provided electronics, most people respond the following business or work day because that is when they turn on their devices or log into their computers. However, with BYOD, most dedicated employees will take time out of their personal life to promptly respond because it’s right there in front them and it’s easy to do so. Most of the time employees do not report the personal time used for responding to work messages into their weekly hours. Most employees say “well, it was only five minutes” or “I can’t put only five minutes on a time sheet.” All that time adds up. If every employee were to spend five minutes each of personal time unreported on a time sheet, that gives a company one extra hour of productivity for every twelve employees – all at no cost to the company. That adds up to a lot of lost wages and personal time to an employee over the lifetime of a career.
Another negative effect BYOD has on employees is the decline of overall happiness outside of work. Taking even a small amount of time away that could be spent with families and friends gives the employee the feeling they are always at work and on call. Even if an employee can force themselves to not respond to work related messages when on personal time, just knowing a message from work came in puts it in the back of the mind, and leaves the employee wondering what the message was or what it is about. If they did read the message, but still have the willpower not to respond, then they are stuck thinking about how to respond when they start work again. This takes precious, irreplaceable time away from ones personal life, all for work that can be done during regular working hours.
In addition to the above and just as concerning with BYOD is personal privacy. Take a look at the permissions below which are very common in apps used by the companies to secure the device:
Here I was thinking that the NSA was bad. Most of these apps require very intrusive permissions that can allow the company to access your private information, messages, even remotely turn on or off your camera (Some of you BYODers are now moving your phone/tablet with a camera off the dock on your nightstand).
Don’t let BYOD take your time. Don’t work for free. It’s not worth the sacrifices. If you’re already a BYOD employee with no company provided option, then I suggest turning off the personal devices as much as possible when not working. Or if you have the funds, purchase a second device that does not get used for work. Having a second device will be an additional expense, but will make your time at home for you, family, and friends again. And those moments are priceless.