It started as a trend, but now allowing “Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)” for use in the workplace is becoming an expectation among employees. In fact, within the next 20 years, it is anticipated that the majority of the global population will be connected to mobile devices 24/7. This means employees will also expect to access online workplace training through their mobile devices with on-demand access.
Explore five statistics from the KPCB Internet Trends 2016 Code Conference that indicate an immediate need to embrace BYOD.
1. Connectivity via smartphone in the U.S. has increased dramatically, from 18 percent in 2009 to 64 percent in 2014.
Research is pointing to smartphones as the most important device, and there is reason to believe they might become more popular than tablets in the near future.
2. Forty-five percent of millennials expect to use personal smartphones for work purposes.
Well, there you have it! Almost half of millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) not just hope to, but expect to use their own smartphones for work purposes. Employers need to be ready to allow employees to access work-related information via their smartphones, which could mean integrating appropriate social media platforms and groups while allowing online learning to be completed through personal mobile devices. In fact, 87 percent of millennials surveyed said their smartphone never leaves their side and is the first thing they reach for after waking up, so allowing BYOD of smartphones to work could be critical for increasing productivity and performance.
3. Many expect to be mobile, working from a variety of locations, and 32 percent believe they will work mainly flexible hours in the future.
Many workplaces are moving away from fixed workstations toward a “nomadic workday,” providing a range of flexible working locations and environments. Employees now expect flexibility to extend beyond the office, with the opportunity to work from home, cafés, or public spaces. BYOD can offer a seamless transition from offsite locations back to the workplace and allow employees to have work resources available at all times.
4. Forty-one percent will purchase and download apps using their own money.
It’s no secret that BYOD is good for the employer’s pocket. Technology costs, including hardware and software requirements, decrease through being absorbed by employees who purchase mobile devices regardless of work needs. The cherry on top is that many employees will purchase apps for work use and pay for them using their own money.
5. Thirty-four percent prefer to collaborate online rather than in person.
Today’s workforce is becoming more virtually social and less social in person, and predictions show this trend will continue. The preference to collaborate online in partnership with BYOD could increase productivity, allowing discussion and brainstorming beyond work hours when many people have their creative peak.
BYOD comes with inherent challenges, including privacy, security and testing. However, the advantages are beginning to outweigh the risks and a sound BYOD policy can help provide the rules and guidelines.
Ruby Spencer is the director of global curriculum development at PulseLearning.