It’s common for an employee to come to a job interview, or perhaps a first day, and see new equipment to work with. Usually these machines are bulk-purchased workhorses that are designed to be just efficient enough to handle the needs of the business.
Startups have a unique ability to remain flexible, which is why more entrepreneurs are finding value in letting employees bring their own technology. As your business grows, the decision to allow more employee technology in the work place can greatly impact your efficiency and lead to happier employees.
There are a few reasons why an employee’s technology is more cost-effective for you. Firstly, you won’t need to pay the cost of the machines an employee works on. That also means you don’t pay for his software or any of the antivirus protection he uses.
You can also save space. Some technology is bulky, whereas an employee laptop may be lightweight and portable. You can also give employees more freedom to work off-site if you know their technology can handle the work. In addition, any licenses or software you do provide is claimable as a business expense.
Part of the gap in technology we have in America is due to familiarity. It’s one of the selling points to Google apps: a secure platform that the user already knows how to use. Employees already know how their PCs work and will have an easier time adapting to your work environment if they don’t have to retrain themselves on your tech.
In addition, your employees most likely have PCs that they have optimized for their own usage. Their new technology could inspire you to add some apps to your repertoire.
With computers, you pay for the amount of power you need, and when you’re ordering in bulk it doesn’t make sense to order high powered machines if a handful of employees need them. Allowing those specialized employees to bring their own computers will give them the resources they need to do the job without you spending valuable company funds on them.
Employees are more likely to maintain their devices, leaving less risk to their own security. Not that an employee will be irresponsible with your equipment, but the worker has a vested interest in keeping it running long after leaving the building. He or she may also have antivirus protection already sorted out, leaving you with one less security expense to worry about.
Empower employees to take risks and accomplish greater tasks with tools they are already familiar with. More technology in the workplace makes more things possible. According to Richard Bracchi, a leading technology consultant for businesses, “Allowing [employees] greater freedom when it comes to choosing the technology they use to do their jobs could lead to positive outcomes for businesses.”
Simply put, new technology breeds new ideas and new capability.
IT must pivot from what to block toward what to allow if businesses are expected to positively utilize technology for growth. A restrictive approach to technology breeds a culture of fear rather than openness. Some startups, especially those who deal with sensitive client data, may have greater security concerns than others.
It may help to establish a “safe use” policy that mandates employees maintain equipment and report problems to IT staff. It may also help to have employees build separate profiles for their work purposes. If you do have staff working remotely, make sure they manage their passwords and log in data carefully.
With the right policies, new technology can grow your business. How you deploy that technology and what your workers do with it make all the difference.