Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Problem With Personal Devices

The proliferation of easily portable communication devices has changed the working landscape dramatically, but not all changes have been for the good.

Speaking during the 2012 Risk Management and Finance Summit for Nonprofits, Cecil Lynn of Littler, Phoenix outlined some of the problems employers have encountered by providing employees with personal devices at work or allowing employees to use their own devices on company business. This practice is referred to as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).

Lynn said that although cost saving is the major motivation for BYOD, some employers have found that it has increased their costs rather than lowering them. There are also problems with employment law and organizational security.

He offered the following recommendations for BYOD that can help avoid problems or lessen their consequences:
  • Decide whether all employees should be permitted to participate in a BYOD program or whether certain groups should be excluded;
  • Install mobile device management software on dual-use devices;
  • Require employees to consent to the company’s access to their data on the device;
  • Modify or create employee agreements;
  • Restrict employees from using cloud-based apps or cloud-based backup or synchronizing with home PCs for work-related data;
  • Ensure that use complies with wage-and-hour obligations by prohibiting off-the-clock work and ensuring pay for all hours worked;
  • No use by friends or family members;
  • Training; and,
  • Revise exit interview processes.

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