Who doesn’t have an iOS or Android powered phone today? Most of us never see “feature” phones any more. Perhaps that’s because 2016 was the year that smartphone adoption reached 80% of all mobile phone owners in the United States. This milestone was reached in July, and that rate inched up to 81% by years end.
Laptops have never come close to this level of penetration given their cost, size and instant usefulness.
Even still though, mobile phones aren’t cheap. The new iPhone 7 starts at $649. The new Samsung Galaxy S8 starts at $725. A hotel housekeeper working at minimum wage makes those amounts (gross) after 2 weeks of work. Is it fair to ask them to use their own device to do their job? Maybe.
Replacing computers on a periodic basis is necessary for hotels and can be costly. Since hotel workers buy phones for their computing and internet life in general, perhaps those phones can also be their device to use while at work. With the introduction of a “bring your own device” (BYOD) policies, industries are beginning to follow the increasing trend of allowing employees to bring their own device to work (smartphone, tablet and/or laptop), which helps solve some budget issues.
Companies that already have a BYOD policy in place have reported numerous benefits including higher employee satisfaction, reduced training time, increased usability and increased productivity. 70% of employees with smartphones regularly check their emails outside of normal business hours with 43% connecting to their email accounts on their smartphones in order to get ahead and ease their workloads for the following business day.
It is estimated that today, over 50% of companies now allow their employees to use their own phones in the workplace and have stopped providing corporate ones. And with 66% of employees wanting IT to let them use their own devices, whether it is their phone, tablet or laptop, it sounds like a “win win” situation.
But, it’s not all that easy – 46% of IT workers say they are not prepared to support an open mobile workforce and have concern over risks such as dealing with device liability, data security and the need for increased bandwidth and resources to handle all the devices on the network. The introduction of a BYOD policy doesn’t have to mean, “letting go” of key control. It does though mean providing a framework for users to bring their own mobile devices to work in a safe manner, including use of apps with business data under certain prescribed conditions.
“Today’s workplace is a virtual and/or physical environment, characterized by connections, collaboration and user choice, that enables the worker to be more agile and perform activities anywhere, anytime – ultimately creating greater enterprise value.” (IBM).
BYOD: Too good to be true or the way forward for high-performing hotel employees?