Over the course of the last two years a huge change has happened in the workplace. The office of yesteryear used to have employees working from their desks five days a week, solely on company computers, great for output, but not necessarily for worker morale or workplace harmony!
However, since the launch of smart devices, especially the iPhone, iPad, a shift has occurred, where employees are largely working away from the office and also bringing in their own tablets, phones and laptops to use in the office – something which is causing quite a buzz as employees show off their new toys and gadgets to their co-workers.
This however, has presented a number of issues and headaches for businesses, the biggest being that the devices aren’t supported by the IT department, opening the organisation up to potential security breaches and nasty file infections.
Not only this, but it also creates restriction issues for employees as they try to access certain documents which aren’t supported by the software built into the device – for example flash and word documents are a real pain to access and edit, especially on an iPad.
As the launch of the yet another fancy new version of the iPhone looms on the world and Amazon announces its colour all singing all dancing rival tablet to the iPad, it is clear that employees bringing their own devices into the workplace will only increase, forcing businesses to rethink previous policies and how to integrate them with current systems.
Whilst most organisations will protest and stamp their feet at this and continue to refuse the adoption all together, they could be creating an unnecessary and unwanted problem for themselves.
Mobile working is becoming a common practice within all work places (it’s easier for those with young families and just more convenient for those who hate working from a dull office 5 days a week) and whether they like it or not workers will continue to connect to email or company systems whilst on the move.
By thinking pragmatically about it businesses need to put themselves in the shoes of their employees, to think outside of the corporate box and offer a flexible way of working, whilst at the same time not compromising on security.
This is easily done and whilst could involve further investment, it may improve efficiencies and have a positive effect on staff productivity levels – and after all a happy workforce is a productive workforce.