BYOD & Your Mobile Workforce

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has gained massive interest in recent years, as an increasingly mobile society opens up the door for an equally mobile workforce. Businesses who utilize BYOD programs and policies stand to gain quite a bit from the flexibility, reduced expenses, and increased familiarity of employees with the technology they use, but there are risks to be considered and ameliorated before throwing the door open to BYOD. Today we’ll discuss what you have to gain from your mobile workforce, as well as how to control the risks inherent to bringing outside devices into your business.

  • The mobile workforce. An effective mobile workforce needs tools it can rely upon in the field—which means either investing in a set of company-owned devices, or taking advantage of BYOD. For the vast majority of applications, employee’s devices will be more than sufficient. Smartphones and tablets have become all but ubiquitous throughout society, so it’s a reasonably safe assumption that your mobile workforce will have compatible equipment—especially if your needs don’t extend beyond tracking mileage for a vehicle reimbursement plan, or securely sharing documents with employees in the field.
  • The strength of employee choice. There are benefits beyond saving money to be found in a BYOD policy. As with a vehicle reimbursement plan, by allowing employees to use the devices they’re already most comfortable with, you improve morale and reduce the downtime normally associated with adopting new equipment—your workers already know how to use their ‘new’ tool. You thus minimize training, errors caused by unfamiliarity, frustration over employee preferences, and other headaches.
  • Liability and you. As with other employee-owned equipment plans, a BYOD policy changes the nature of liability for your business. Whether you’re supplying tablet PCs or company vehicles, the problem remains the same: what an employee does after hours still ties back to your company, meaning you may end up on the hook for events completely beyond your control. While an employee may be less likely to cause trouble with a computer than a vehicle, the possibility of legal headaches still exists. With BYOD, you can be certain you’re only responsible for whatever apps or tools you provide for the device—nothing else.
  • Mitigating downsides. Many companies worry about BYOD policies leading to problems with security, distractions for employees, and other issues, but let’s look at this another way: many of these problems exist already due to the mere existence of mobile technology. A BYOD policy takes advantage of the inevitable presence of such technology, and can in fact be used to mitigate threats which otherwise would be difficult to engage, by bringing “private employee devices” under company purview.

Overall, an increasing number of businesses see employee-owned, company-utilized solutions such as BYOD and vehicle reimbursement plans as superior to company-owned and managed technology; the advantages offered in terms of expense, morale, liability, employee familiarity, and more outweigh the potential downsides in the majority of cases. There’s little to be lost and much to be gained in using a mobile app on an employee’s phone to track mileage for transportation reimbursement vs. paying for a device specifically for that purpose or trying to obtain and parse travel receipts.

Curious about other ways BYOD can benefit vehicle reimbursement plans and other aspects of your company transportation needs? Be sure to check out CarData’s Learning Center, or schedule a conversation with one of our experts here. We’ll be glad to help you figure out ways to improve the efficiency and profitability of your business’ transportation strategies!