We know this because we recently polled 300 bosses of small and medium sized businesses on this very topic. Three quarters of bosses in our sample told us that by allowing their staff to use their own smart phones, laptops or tablets in the workplace positioned their firms as a ‘flexible and attractive employers’.
What’s more, around two thirds of SME chiefs told us they already allowed their staff to use their own devices for work purposes. And the same number said they had written policies in place for staff wishing to use their own devices at work.
And it’s not just morale that’s at stake. Comfortably over half – 58% - of SME chiefs found that letting staff use their own devices at work had led to increased output and better workplace efficiency.
There is also money to be saved. Some 60% per cent said they had saved some money on IT training and hardware by letting staff use their own devices.
We ran our research past well known work place psychologist Professor Cary Cooper, who is professor of organisational psychology and health at Lancaster University Management School.
Professor Cooper looked at our findings and observed: “As this research shows most people these days generally like the option of using their own computer devices at work. For employers it’s better to be flexible to their employees’ needs rather imposing ways of working that go against the preferences of their workforces.”
But if you are a boss who isn’t keen on allowing your staff to use bring their own devices to work, you are about to be outnumbered. Our research showed 70% thought it was ‘inevitable’ that in the future all staff would demand the flexibility to use their own devices in tandem with those provided by their employer.
One of the most appealing benefits of BYOD is that you can divest yourself of having to look after a PC estate. It’s a big responsibility removed, and your staff will appreciate you even more for doing so.
Some companies may want to provide an annual allowance for their staff to contribute to a device, or to enable them to cover the cost of local anti-virus on their machines – but it’s easier to provide an allowance than having to manage a desktop estate.
Whilst adopting BYOD will result in your employees using a broad range of devices, you can still ensure they have all the tools they need to do their work by adopting hosted desktop cloud computing. This provides everyone with a standardised environment that can be accessed from the diverse range of machines they choose to use. A perfect blend of diversity and standardisation, freedom and control.
Charles Black is the Chief Executive of Cloud Computing firm Nasstar plc.