A bring-your-own-device (BYOD) program is a good way to give employees freedom to choose the software and hardware they use to do their job. This boosts employee efficiency while also saving businesses money. It’s a trend that is happening in business worldwide. Take a look at these seven best tools for BYOD employees and why they’re important.
Image via Flickr by Razvan Baltaretu
The most common device BYOD employees are asked to buy is a smartphone. This is necessary for making calls, checking email while away from the computer, and even accepting credit card payments from customers at trade shows and similar events. BYOD is great because employees can carry one smartphone for both personal and business use instead of being bogged down by multiple devices. Having one device increases employee satisfaction. One of the best smartphone options for business is the Galaxy S7 Edge from T-Mobile, which gives you the freedom of a month-to-month contract — just be sure to carry an extra battery to ensure that your phone always has service on a fast, reliable network.
Many people like to carry a tablet for work in addition to a smartphone because the bigger screen allows for more function. For instance, a tablet is nice if you conduct a lot of meetings because you can use the built-in camera and microphone even when you’re on the go. Plus, tablets are super lightweight and easy to store in a bag and pull out for reading and other tasks.
Most BYOD employees also need some sort of computer to complete tasks that are not efficient on a tablet or smartphone, whether that means word processing, analytical work, or anything else. The best option is a lightweight laptop with a fast processor and a good Wi-Fi connection. A laptop provides a greater range of functions than a tablet, but it maintains portability. This means employees can easily take their laptop to and from work and work remotely if necessary.
Along with that laptop or tablet, BYOD employees need to protect their devices with antivirus software. Several great options exist on the market — Malwarebytes, Kapersky, Panda, and the like. Security is a major concern with BYOD devices because businesses do not have control over passwords or how employees use their devices. It’s the biggest drawback of BYOD. However, all technology has inherent security risks, and BYOD employees can keep information safe with the proper precautions and planning.
Cloud File Storage
BYOD employees need a cloud storage solution so that they have access to their files whether on a smartphone, laptop, or other device. Dropbox is an excellent option because users get a small amount of free storage when they sign up. Employees that need more storage space can buy more for a monthly fee. Dropbox is not the only cloud storage provider; other good options are Google Drive and One Drive. Some companies also have their own cloud storage provider that BYOD employees can use.
When employees aren’t limited to company software, they have a host of apps to choose from to boost productivity. Some great examples of productivity apps are Evernote, Google Docs, Slideshare, Keynote, and Haiku Deck. There are also apps that help you track projects and manage time. Apps are not limited to smartphones and tablets, either. You can install apps on certain browsers, such as Chrome. There’s an app for practically anything you can think of.
Headset and Video Camera
Most laptops and tablets come with a built-in microphone and video camera, but it’s not always of high enough quality. BYOD employees often need a better video camera for conference calls and noise-canceling headphones to make sure they don’t miss out on anything during a meeting.
These are just the most common and best tools BYOD employees use. Every business is different and thus has different needs. Employees are generally given guidelines on the types of devices to buy and what features are needed to perform their jobs the best. If you want to implement a BYOD policy in your business, you may want to consider offering a stipend to your employees to offset the costs. In the end, you save money, and your employees are also happy.