5 reasons a BYOD policy isn’t like the Upside Down from “Stranger Things”

By Rose de Fremery

An illustrated monster coming out of a mobile phone.
IBM

If you’ve watched “Stranger Things,” you know a dangerous parallel world called the “Upside Down” exists just beyond your plane of existence, with terrifying creatures waiting to snatch you from safety and plunge you into confusion. If you let your guard down, the demogorgon might just rear its ugly head(s), threatening to tear you limb from limb.

Some businesses might regard a BYOD policy with similar caution, concerned it could pose security risks or wreak havoc with burdensome costs. However, BYOD could open up a whole new realm of possibilities for your business, and that realm is far safer than the Upside Down.

With that in mind, here are five reasons BYOD isn’t like the Upside Down:

1. BYOD fosters collaboration

How do you take down the demogorgon? You do it with teamwork. In “Stranger Things,” everyone brings unique talents when protecting the town of Hawkins from the unearthly menace, and effective collaboration is critical to their success. Everyone spends the first half of the show attempting to solve the mystery on their own, but it’s only when the adults, teenagers, and kids share their supernatural experiences that they truly arm themselves to fight against evil forces.

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Any business that wants its employees to work well together in a similar way — especially across different locations — will find BYOD useful in the quest for better workplace collaboration. In fact, as TechTarget notes, allowing employees to use their own devices complements an organization’s mobile and cloud strategies.

Businesses that increasingly rely on flexible, mobile access to data in the cloud can leverage a secure and productive BYOD policy to allow staff members to work well together. With instant access to business apps on their personal devices, employees can easily touch base with one another and keep work moving whether they’re en route to a meeting or riding the train home from the office.

2. Productivity improves with BYOD

Familiarity is something to be prized, especially when the Upside Down is threatening to overtake your town. Joyce Byers and Detective Hopper would have had a lot harder time tracking Will down in the Upside Down if it wasn’t a perfect — albeit more creepy — replica of Hawkins.

Employees feel the same way about technology, so they’re more likely to work better with the devices they already know and love. Anyone who has lugged around a second device just for work knows how clunky and redundant it is to juggle two separate systems.

BYOD allows them to bypass this inefficient and slightly embarrassing state of affairs. What’s more, if office professionals want to upgrade their devices to the latest versions, they don’t have to beg and plead for IT’s blessing. They can go out and purchase the devices they prefer, then get down to work. And the businesses reap the rewards: According to Sapho, BYOD allows workers to save 81 minutes of productivity each week.

3. BYOD lowers costs

BYOD can reduce the costs associated with mobile devices as well. Rather than having to purchase and provision an entire fleet of corporate-owned devices employees don’t want to use and monitoring service plans for nasty surprises such as the demogorgon, a business that adopts a BYOD policy allows employees to use the personal devices they already bring to work every day.

Companies might choose to pay a fixed percentage of their employees’ mobile bills every month, opt to track call and data usage and pay accordingly or not reimburse employees’ mobile costs at all. Whatever path a business picks, it can cut down on both capital and operating expenditures, allowing IT to focus on security, support and innovation.

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4. Employee satisfaction rises with BYOD

Not surprisingly, employees are happier when they get to work with the devices they prefer. For this reason, BYOD can lead to increased satisfaction on the job. In “Stranger Things,” Joyce Byers makes a breakthrough when she discovers a way to communicate with her son, Will, using the Christmas lights in her living room.

Your employees, on the other hand, might find the latest iPhone gives them an edge in succeeding at work. Employees using the devices they choose can balance work and personal obligations more efficiently. They won’t need to be at their desks to return vital client calls, and they can still submit reports on time, even if stormy weather is keeping them at home. Employees are happier as a result of the increased flexibility and freedom, and the business benefits from having a satisfied staff that’s more productive on the job.

5. BYOD attracts top talent

Young digital natives increasingly expect their business technology to function as seamlessly as their personal technology. In fact, they might not recognize a meaningful difference between the two. As the consumerization of IT has reshaped the way businesses deploy technology to their staff, IT departments must ensure the technology they provide offers the kind of frictionless, high-quality user experience employees now consider essential to workplace productivity. Accordingly, any business competing for millennial talent should consider a BYOD policy. Do you want to hire a gifted employee with supernatural skills like Eleven in “Stranger Things?” BYOD might help pique that talented individual’s interest in working with you.

Nothing is ever as it seems at first glance, including the Upside Down. If your business has been reluctant to pursue a BYOD policy due to concerns it could upend your security or result in unforeseen challenges, you might want to take a closer look. BYOD offers businesses a host of potential benefits, from productivity gains to attractive cost savings, all while boosting employee satisfaction and drawing in new talent.

BYOD is far from the Upside Down, as it turns out. In fact, it’s a valuable solution that’s helping businesses save the day.

Written By

Rose de Fremery

Writer

Rose de Fremery is a New York-based writer. She currently covers business IT topics such as technology innovation, mobile strategy, unified communications, CRM and marketing automation, IT management, and the virtual workforce for HP, Intel, Vonage, and IBM Mobile Business Insights.…

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