More and more employees work remotely—maintaining virtual offices located anywhere and everywhere. According to data collected by GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com, about one-fourth of employees telecommute periodically. However, almost four million employees clock half of their work hours from virtual offices (often at home).
The advancement of technology has allowed for our personal spaces to transform into virtual offices that can seamlessly connect us to our work even as we remain outside of the traditional work environment. However, the rise of this telecommunity within the workforce also has created a corporate conundrum for employers.
Employees often own their own smartphones and other devices to gain immediate access to office email and files. But should employees integrate their own devices into their 9 to 5 lives? And is the personal phone appropriate for the office?
The answer has become a resounding ‘yes.’ About 75 percent of employers allow their employees to utilize their own phones for company business and to access company emails. Many corporations also pick up part of the monthly cell phone bill for employees.
However with so many employees bringing in different devices, there are several safety tips to follow for companies who embrace the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend. Insist that all employees’ devices have a feature to erase all the data on their phones, in case it is lost or stolen—all iPhones are equipped with a remote function to erase a phone’s information. Company information also should only be backed to a company cloud (never a personal one), and companies also should offer a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which is a secure, encrypted network, to ensure employees’ devices are not compromised while online.
While employers need to ensure safeguards against data breaches, employees must understand that when they use their phone for work, any information from the company is the property of their employer. Once employment ends, the phone must be wiped of all corporate information just as an employee would relinquish any corporate property upon leaving a position.
For more information about BYOD and ways to protect personal and proprietary information on your smartphone, check out the infographic below.