Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Or Not?

Every workplace has a different policy on BYOD—that’s “bring your own device,” if you don’t already know. Some offices are hard set against the use of personal mobile devices for nonwork applications on the premises, but there isn’t much they can do about it (except threaten to fire you if you’re caught). Other offices have much looser restrictions on personal mobile use, realizing that they really can’t stop you efficiently. Then there are companies who actually support BYOD, saying that it helps to increase morale and efficiency by providing employees with a much-needed outlet during the workday to see to their personal lives.

How common is BYOD?

It’s estimated that around 90% of employees bring their own mobile devices to work. One of the biggest detractors for companies is the possibility of security breaches. If you do choose to use your own mobile at work, you may want to only use it for personal correspondences and not to interface with sensitive work data. If you do, the data can find its way off of the work network and outside that security grid.

There are jobs where this doesn’t matter at all, but in some lines of work that could be detrimental and represent a very serious breach. This is one of the reasons companies often issue their own mobile devices in situations where mobiles will be regularly used for work purposes by employees of a business.

Should you BYOD?

That depends on where you work and what your employer’s policy and attitude toward BYOD is. If your company works with highly sensitive data, you probably should use a company device to access it instead of your own. And if your employer is dead set against BYOD, you may not want to do it at all, especially since you will always be using the work network to get online. In other words, you don’t have full control over your device. Your transmissions aren’t private. Your employer can watch what you’re doing.

If your employer has a relaxed attitude toward BYOD, then you should decide whether to use your mobile at work based off of how it impacts your attitude and productivity. Do you find your mobile device distracting? Does it cause you to neglect important tasks? Or does your mobile device actually help you to be more efficient throughout the day by allowing you moments to relax or deal with important personal matters? Will your employer be pleased with your performance or see a drop in your efficiency? This should be the basis of your decision.

Consider your own privacy when you choose whether to use your device at work.

If you trust your employer or consider your transmissions to be public, then you don’t need to worry about it. If you don’t trust your employer however (or your IT department) or you’re having sensitive personal conversations through your mobile transmissions, you probably want to have them at home on your own private network. And whatever you do, don’t comment on your workplace, employer or coworkers using your own device at work.

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