Getting into the workaholic mode, courtesy BYOD

A section of techies, business leaders and tech media may not agree with me. But I really think the huge buzz that is called BYOD (bring your own device) today is actually turning workers into productive workaholics. Employees are encouraged to bring their own devices – from tablets to smartphones and all those à la mode communication gadgets – and apparently all these sound so perfect. In the process, companies are happily squeezing out a pound of flesh from the very same employees.


Never switch off!

Let me substantiate this with data. A recent Mobile Workforce Report found out that employees are working up to 20 additional hours per week unpaid as a result of BYOD policies adopted by their firms. So if a company worked a 40 hour week before, their employees are giving them an extra 20 for FREE! Now you know what I am talking about…

Go a little deeper into this and you would understand the whole movement of BYOD is an offshoot of recession and other global crisis that in turn prompted businesses to go for cost-cutting. Even though the business leaders have put it as giving more flexibility to employees, BYOD in many ways can only save some of the company expenses. So when the company is on a cost saving spree, the best way it found was to ask employees to get all their stuff – from PCs to smartphone and datacards.

So, what’s the employees take in the whole cost cutting saga? They anyways do not have much of a say as they look to be in a stable job – they need to go with the flow. And in some cases as we know employees love to show off their latest gadgets. But after a while? When it becomes a need, it indeed becomes a pain, especially if you don’t make the big bucks.

Set aside finance. But are you ready to mix work with pleasure on the same device? Say you write to your fiancé from your phone and then your boss wants to dig into your text messages and e-mails. Where are you then? It’s your phone or tablet – your personal communication device, but it holds a lot of the company’s data. Whose rights will prevail in such situations? You do not have solid answers to these questions yet…

BYOD is only going to make things messier in future especially with very few organisations actually understanding the concept or having a tight security system in place to sustain. As a CTO of a company puts it: “With BYOD, employees often say wow it’s neat that I can use my cool gadget and I have enough flexibility. But in the way, they are not only shouldering their own mobile data bills and the hardware cost but is also running without privacy.”

And I believe even when workers are on a holiday; they are never completely switched off. BYOD is going to transform from being a buzz to being a pain and it’s a warning you see!


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