BYOD (bring your own device) is an organizational arrangement that permits workers to utilize their own cell phones, tablets, and portable PCs in the work environment. Traditionally, company-owned devices are provided to employees, but a growing number of businesses are opting for a BYOD policy for a variety of reasons. It is estimated that by 2020, 85 percent of organizations will be utilizing a BYOD policy in some way. This article discusses the case for why it is time to allow employees to integrate their personal devices for work purposes, and take advantage of technology that is readily available.
If you are concerned that the movement towards mobile devices in construction is a passing fad, you are mistaken. With growing numbers of millennials and younger workers in the industry, the preference for mobility and digital access from the field will only continue to grow. Although the current workforce in construction is a combination of all age groups, many businesses may be hesitant to make a change that only caters to a portion of its employees. In order to remain competitive in construction however, adapting the latest technology has always been a necessity, and staying ahead of the curve will only to stand your business in the years to come. In addition, rather than creating a restrictive environment, a BYOD policy promotes a greater sense of autonomy for workers. By encouraging the use of mobile phones for both personal and professional use, more workers will be willing to make the shift, despite the difficulties the initial process might present. Below is a list of reasons for why a BYOD policy is the right move for your business.
Decreases Technology Costs for Businesses
Purchasing smartphones and tablets for field technicians can tremendously increase costs for your business. Not only are the individual devices expensive, maintenance and service fees can also add up. By allowing technicians and field workers to bring their own device, all of these costs are drastically reduced.
High Adoption Rates
With most field workers and technicians already owning a mobile device, it is more likely that they will adopt the new policy. Most employees are typically hesitant to change, but a BYOD policy is not disruptive to many workers’ everyday routine. When compared to introducing a new piece of equipment or software, workers are already familiar with the functionality of their personal device. This makes it more likely that they will be open to using their device for work, as they are already comfortable operating it.
Communication also becomes enhanced with a BYOD policy, as it provides one point of contact for all workers. Rather than sending emails, phone calls and voice messages, perhaps a unified mobile app for the entire business will better connect all members. Having one, designated area for communication will improve the flow of information, which is key in construction. Not only does this simplify the communication process, it creates a system where everyone is accountable. Apart from messages, mobile apps allow for the transferal of pictures, documents, videos, recordings and other forms of media that may be beneficial to construction workers. Having immediate access to this saves businesses time, and reduces the amount of paperwork and manual processes. For larger files and documents, field workers will gain access to cloud storage options like Google drive or Dropbox.
Lead by Example
As more people utilize the latest technologies in their personal lives, it is only a matter of time before these innovations are adopted in the workplace, so why not stay ahead of the curve. Rather than chasing more forward-thinking companies from behind, be the leader of the pack within your industry. Implementing a BYOD policy and familiarizing all workers with mobile opens up the door for adopting more advanced technology like cloud-based software. Moreover, as more complex technology becomes available, your staff will be better suited to adopt to more changes as they become introduced in the industry.
Attract a New Generation of Workers to Construction
On a much larger scale, encouraging workers to bring their own device will resonate with a large portion of the workforce. Not only does a BYOD rule benefit your business in the present, but for years to come. As workers from the baby-boom generation decrease in construction, a large number of millennials are coming in. With hiring and recruiting already a difficulty process, all businesses will need to provide incentives for millennial workers. Having a BYOD policy in place may help your company stand out, and allowing you to cast a much wider net than your competitors.