It’s a challenge to regulate tech, but necessary

We live in a technology age where we are always on and constantly available. Technology has led to rapid advances and tremendous business growth opportunities, but it has also created leadership challenges.

As business leaders, we are tasked with a broad array of responsibilities from hiring, training, executing strategic growth plans, reaching sales goals, and now the need to manage the challenges associated with a Bring Your Own Device to work policy.

While we embrace technology and mobility, how do we effectively balance BYOD enabling our employees to be constantly connected while keeping them focused on the work at hand?

Workplace distractions

Employers have been challenged by workplace distractions since before the advent of the water cooler.

A recent survey by CareerBuilder shows that more than half of employers cite mobile phones and texting as the biggest workplace productivity drain. When you add social media, games, fantasy sports and all the various apps available on mobile phones and tablets, it is clear to see why these devices can be a distraction and create productivity challenges.

BYOD policy

Businesses should consider instituting a BYOD acceptable use policy. A company’s BYOD policy will likely be dictated and shaped by industry, culture and employee expectations. Additionally, employee roles and responsibilities will have an impact on how the policy applies to their individual use.

Some considerations when drafting or updating your company’s BYOD policy:

  • Usage guidelines: When, how and appropriate measurements of device usage.
  • Etiquette expectations: Ring tones, usage during meetings, customer service, etc.
  • Work-related responsibilities while utilizing personal devices: Securing confidential company information, differentiating between personal and professional usage during the workday, time and labor policies if employees access work emails on their phones after hours.
  • Exceptions: Provisions for emergencies or extenuating circumstances.

Leadership and supervision

Businesses need a detailed BYOD policy in today’s technology age and a strong leadership team to implement and manage the policy. An effective BYOD policy must specifically outline employee expectations to make it clear what is and isn’t acceptable usage during working hours.

Clear communication on expectations and leadership supervision are critical to hold employees accountable for their actions and to maintain their performance.

System One would like to know what other Pittsburgh businesses are doing with their BYOD challenges. Please email us to let us know: [email protected].

Greg Lignelli is the COO of System One Holdings LLC, which delivers workforce solutions and integrated services to help clients get work done more efficiently and economically, without compromising quality.