Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: BYOD and the Consumerization of IT

BYOD--the trojan horse to make you work more

Companies shouldn't resist the growing call to let employees use their own devices for work. It saves money, makes employees work more, and increases happiness. Stop fighting it!

There has been a flurry of posts lately regarding BYOD (bring-your-own-device) programs that are gaining traction among companies. Lots of debate about the positives and negatives. It lowers the cost in the hardware budget, but brings about greater security risk for the company and requires increased effort on policies regarding company data, and so on.

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However, there is surprisingly little talk about increased employee productivity, which is strange since increased productivity is the biggest benefit from implementing a BYOD program.

Why would productivity increase? It's simple--an employee using their own device is likely to have their eyes on it at all hours. While employees are happy they're using a device they're comfortable with, management should be gleefully patting themselves on the back having created the Trojan horse that spurs employees into working outside of office hours.

After all, if the work device is a personal device too, while they're waiting in line for a movie or fiddling at a restaurant with their phone, their eyeballs will be scanning through to see if work e-mail messages or items came through.

With cloud-based productivity suites such as Office 365 and Google Apps, as well as cloud storage like Dropbox and SkyDrive, infrastructure that supports a majority of popular devices is already in place. Spreadsheet, word processor, e-mail, and presentation-generator...these are the tools most employees need. Set your document retention and security policies on the server to which the employees' devices are connecting, and your company is set to safely handle whichever devices your employees want to bring.

So what's all the debate about? It's inevitable that employees will use their own devices. The employees will be happier and more productive and the company will save money on hardware expenses. 

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