Debunking Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Myths
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a policy that states that employees can use their own personal phone, computer, or other device for work. In our business, we’re primarily talking about employees using their own mobile devices for work. And often, frontline employees aren’t issued company devices to use, which creates the need for BYOD to make resources and communication available for employees when and wherever they need it. And although BYOD is an increasingly more common workplace policy, there are still a lot of misconceptions about it.
Bring Your Own Device Myth: My employees won’t want to download an app.
First thing’s first, there’s a technology adoption curve. With any new technology or process you introduce to your workforce, you are going to have stages of adoption. Are there going to be some employees who don’t want to download an app on their own personal device? Sure. But that won’t be the majority. In fact, 68% of employees are going to fall in the early or late majority category. 2.5% are your innovators who are going to be your super users and app champions. And about 13.5% are going to be your early adopters. That leaves just 10% who might resist or might need more convincing.
And believe it or not, your employees will be so excited to finally have access to important information on an app. Kreg Tool Company experienced the same thing. 50% of their staff work in an office and 50% work on the plant floor. And these two groups did not have access to the same channels.
“We needed to find a solution where we could deliver the same message at the same time to all employees and really help everyone feel more engaged and connected to Kreg. So, we did a survey early on in the process and we got a lot of great feedback from that survey that indicated people were really excited about the potential of having an app so they could all be informed about what was going on at the same time.”
Melany Stonewall, Strategic Communications Manager, Kreg Tool Company
So, a majority of employees are going to get on board right away with a bring your own device approach. But at theEMPLOYEEapp, we know that other employees might take a little more time. And that’s why you don’t have to download the app to use it—our Web App is available and accessible from your computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Myth: Apps on personal phones encroach too much into employee privacy.
Some apps have poisoned the well for the rest of us. Some apps do collect personal information and use it. And this has created a misconception that all applications do this.
We can’t speak for everyone, but theEMPLOYEEapp actually collects very little user data and mobile device preferences. We even have an option to turn off user data in your analytics dashboard.
When organizations are challenged with the topic of adopting BYOD or Mobile Device Management (MDM), the concern can be two-fold. The employee’s perspective is focused on the fear of “big brother” monitoring their device and usage and while employer’s anxiety is rooted in restricting access to sensitive internal files and corporate systems for those without MDM.
Those concerns have been addressed in the marketplace with the advent of new capabilities within Apple iOS 14+ and Android 5.0+. Both platforms have taken strides to address each side of the argument around BYOD vs. MDM programs, resulting in a renewed industry push for secure BYOD adoption.
When working with theEMPLOYEEapp, clients work with our Engineering team to define the best implementation approach based on current operating environments and client needs for deploying the app.
PRO TIP: If you are considering a mobile app solution for communication, we would advise you to ask them what their specific policy is on user data collection, storage, and use.
Myth: Employees will expect to be compensated for time spent on the app.
Time worked, time paid concerns are something we help our clients navigate all the time. Since we are mostly working with companies with primarily deskless workers who are hourly, it is important that they know an app is optional and not required for work.
“In a lot of ways, it’s the same content governance that you would have on any other platform. If you have something that is required to do their job, it must be posted on multiple different channels for them to have access to at any point. That being said, a lot of our clients do put that into that customizable policy to cover themselves and say ‘this offers you these benefits, but you are not by any means required to do this as part of your job, and therefore, there’s no compensatory time.”
Amanda Fisher, Client Success Account Manager, theEMPLOYEEapp
Myth: Allowing employees to use their phones at work will be too distracting.
BYOD does not mean that all rules go out the window for smartphone use in the workplace. If you work in manufacturing and have a no phones on the floor rule, that stands. The same is true in restaurants and retail, where hourly employees are asked to not use phones at work. None of that has to change. Employees can still use their phones off the floor and in the break room. And remember, employees may want to check the app from home to learn about their benefits, payroll, their schedule, etc.
But consider this: many of our clients in healthcare, logistics, and even manufacturing have found that improving communication and access to resources for work have only improved efficiency and made it easier for employees to do their jobs. Avera Health, for example, had to do away with a paper system for [x] during the COVID-19 pandemic. The app let them digitize this process to be more sanitary and effective. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Myth: My older employees don’t own a smartphone.
This is a pretty dangerous stereotype and simply not true. Some smartphone users might need a little more training than others. But the data on smartphone ownership is pretty cut and dry:
81% of adults in the U.S. own a smartphone. And when you look at the data by age: 79% of adults aged 50 – 64 own one, and even 53% of 65+ own a smartphone (Marketing Charts). And this is exactly the kind of research that our clients conduct when making their decisions to go mobile:
“What it really ultimately came down to is almost everybody has a smartphone and are fairly familiar with using apps. We knew it wouldn’t require a lot of training to get people up to speed on how to use it. So that was really great. And just the employee app is so intuitive on how to use that it just really made sense for us.”
Melany Stonewall, Strategic Communications Manager, Kreg Tool Company
“Working at a company that’s been around and that’s been successful the last 40 years, it’s really difficult to bring in a new product, especially something digital like this app. But we have been able to give our associates a tool they haven’t had for the last 40 years. For another company wanting to get started with the apprise app, especially a company that’s been around for awhile, and they’re hesitant to change, it’s a really great tool and my advice is to really do your research and make sure that your presentations and metrics are sound when you go to your leadership teams. Explain all of the wonderful things that you can do with the tool that you weren’t able to do before.”
Anonymous client in the automotive manufacturing industry
Bring Your Own Device: What’s Next?
Need more advice on adopting a bring your own device policy? Get in touch with a member of our team who would gladly talk strategy with you.