BYOD, Bring Your Own Device, is clearly here to stay. For small and mid-sized businesses BYOD might mean an employee’s personal smartphone, and for others it could be an employees laptop, smartwatch or tablet. But is the use of employees’ personal devices in the workplace paying off in terms of productivity, cost savings, and employee happiness? The answer is yes.

The BYOD phenomenon has been with us long enough that it has a track record. Its success can be measured, and many industry-watching organizations are doing just that, which is giving us an excellent picture of what BYOD has meant and will mean to all the industries where it has become the norm.

And to say that BYOD is the norm is on the mark. Two-thirds of employees are now using personal devices at work1. Of course, it all works more smoothly when a company has an actual BYOD policy, but the truth is that even at companies where BYOD is officially discouraged employees are still using their own devices anyway.

Small to mid-sized businesses can gain an extra 240 hours of work per year per employee with BYOD

Three out of five companies today expect their employees to be available remotely2. And many other companies count on their workers being able to access mobile business apps from their phones. That includes companies that don’t provide a business mobile device to those employees, so these expectations feed into the driving forces behind BYOD.

Productivity gains

One survey found that companies gain an extra 240 hours of work – six 40-hour work weeks – per year per employee thanks to their ability to work effectively with their mobile device3. Figure an average pay rate of $25 an hour, and a company with 1,000 highly mobile, BYOD-equipped workers can gain the equivalent of $6 million in additional work.

Part of that calculation involves greater productivity due to the advantages BYOD offers, but what companies find is that as it gets easier to work outside the office, employees end up voluntarily putting in more time. Using the device to check and deal with emails early in the morning or after working hours saves them time during the actual workday, and gets things done more effectively in a business environment that increasingly operates anytime and anywhere. We’re never going back to a 9-to-5 world.

In other studies, productivity numbers vary depending on the mix of companies that are being surveyed, but one thing is consistent: companies get more work out of employees, and most of those employees don’t see that extra work they’re doing as a burden. It’s their own device they’re using, and they’re so comfortable with it that it just incorporates itself into their outside-working-hours routine.

Three out of five employers say that the rationale behind their BYOD programs is improved mobility for their people. But almost as many cite employee satisfaction and increased productivity as key reasons for implementing a BYOD program. While BYOD does yield cost savings, for most small to mid-sized businesses it isn’t one of the top reasons4.

While 3 out of 5 employers say their BYOD programs is for improved mobility for their people, other employers cite employee satisfaction and increased productivity as key reasons for a BYOD program.

Employees are clearly on board. Well over half of all workers indicate they are more productive when using their own devices. After all, they are familiar with them and the various interfaces, which eliminates any learning curve and improves usability and access. And BYOD allows them to upgrade their own device on their timetable, rather than the company’s. Studies show that users upgrade their personal smart device more than twice as often as a typical business upgrades its devices5.

The three most popular types of mobile apps enabled on employee devices are email, calendars, and contact management options. Other widely-used apps include those that enable document access and editing and that allow entry into to the company intranet or cloud-based collaborative platforms.

Maintaining BYOD control

To blend both productivity and management control over your small to mid-sized business BYOD environment, one of the best solutions on the market today is Sprint MultiLine. MultiLine is an easy to install app that allows your business to add a second, distinct business phone number to your existing smartphones. One that can be used strictly for business.

You and your employees can use that separate business-owned number to manage all of your business calls, texts, and voice mail. This allows all business and personal communications to be kept completely separate with the ease of having both options on one phone. Your company maintains full control over the business number, with the ability to manage all user types and mobile requirements.

This secure solution allows the company to establish parameters around the times of day and days of the week the business number is active, as well as whether call recording is required.

With dual-number operation, employee privacy can be secured and respected, and compliance can be assured when it comes to industry or governmental regulations regarding confidential communications or recorded calls.

And for those that use Salesforce, Sprint MultiLine for Salesforce now has the ability to fully integrate with the CRM to automatically log calls saving time and improving visibility.

In addition, should an employee leave the company, your business owns that phone number so they can’t take all their business contacts with them leaving the company scrambling to figure out how best to contact clients, customers, and partners. Those contacts stay with the business number, not the physical phone.

As the majority of businesses are now embracing BYOD, it’s important for your company to take advantage of the productivity that it brings. Putting a separate business number on an employee’s phone is practical, professional, and efficient.

1https://techjury.net/stats-about/byod

2https://image-us.samsung.com/SamsungUS/samsungbusiness/short-form/maximizing-mobile-value/WHP-HHP-MAXIMIZE-MOBILE-VALUE-JUN18.pdf

3https://fliplet.com/blog/enterprise-mobility-statistics-infographic/

4https://crowdresearchpartners.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/BYOD-and-Mobile-Security-Report-2016.pdf

5CITO Research, Kobiton: BYOD The Step Your Probably Overlooked White Paper, 2018