Implementing a Bring Your Own Device Policy in a Startup Environment

BYOD policies allow employees to bring their own devices to the workplace. This practice affords employees greater leverage and liberties about co-working in an office environment. They can mobilize, interact with co-workers and better utilize technologies to improve production. It is a great way to build teamwork and employee interaction throughout the workplace while increasing productivity levels at varying levels within the organization.

Implementing BYOD Policies

BYOB, or bring your device policies work well in a business setting, for multiple purposes. They allow employees to:

  • Utilize their laptop, smartphone, tablets and all-in-one systems from anywhere
  • Have more leverage to work on or off-site
  • Use shared meeting or office spaces, to collaborate with team members

Allowing employees to use their laptops and devices, as long as they meet company standards, can significantly help improve collaboration and teamwork. Doing this is essential especially in a new startup situation. You want your employees to share ideas, concepts and bring new thoughts to life. Having their own devices, as opposed to sitting behind a desk, in their cubicles, gives them the freedom to roam, share and create excellent products/services for the client.

Integration of 4G LTE Devices

Technologies have truly revolutionized the manner in which companies do business and employees interact. 4G LTE laptop platforms allow for seamless integration in any workspace. These devices make it easier for employees to communicate and connect. Incorporating 4G LTE cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity, employees can work together on various projects, from anywhere. Improved battery life and “always connected” PCs are just a small part of what companies may come to expect when integrating the latest technologies, and allowing employees to bring their company-approved devices to the workplace.

Employ Standardized OS/Software for the Entire Team

Companies must set standards to the BYOD to work setting. For example, having employees download Adobe software, use Windows 10, and integrate through Microsoft Office Suite products, are just a few set examples a startup can employ. Giving employees the freedom to use their equipment is one thing; but, you can’t allow each employee to use different software and file sharing tools within the organization. Companies should provide employees a free subscription to these platforms, and permit them to install it onto their devices. Additionally, employers must set standards as to how these programs operate. So, during off-hours, employees can’t use the employer’s paid-for subscription, even if it is on their device.

Streamlining rules and processes, which all new employees must follow, will make the BYOD policy operate seamlessly in your new startup organization.

Have Policy Standards Laid Out by HR Professionals

It’s important to set up rules/regulations about the device policy within the startup setting. HR departments should address issues like security, data usage, sharing, and limitations on device-use during business hours. The more succinct the policies are, the easier they are to enforce. And, when all employees have to follow the same standards, there are no loopholes for employees to rely upon, in the event, they are caught using/sharing/storing information, in a manner which is contradictory to the contract they signed as it relates to the BYOD policy.

Have Employees Sign File Sharing/Client Information Sharing Restrictions

Today, issues like data theft, companies sharing personal information, and sensitive client information (especially in industries like healthcare, where HIPAA policies are in place), are critical factors to consider as well. A new startup has to pay special attention to these issues, to ensure sensitive information doesn’t get into the wrong hands.

Protecting proprietary information about the startup, as well as clients’ personal information, is of utmost importance for startups. Drafting nondisclosure, confidentiality agreements, and policies to protect confidential information are a must as it relates to BYOD policies. Companies should also require employees to share client information through a proprietary system. Doing this through an ‘intranet’ or online portal, which is only visible in workplace settings, further protects confidential information.

A BYOD policy is a great way to increase employee engagement, cooperation, and knowledge sharing. With this in mind, companies have to take appropriate steps to protect their business. As a new startup, these are some great ways to ensure you have a sound policy in place, allow employees to use their devices, all while protecting your business, and your customers.

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