The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend came to Asia in recent years, and it has rapidly made its presence felt in the corporate environment. It has been reported that 80% of Indian employees use their own personal devices for work. A major reason for this is the dynamic shift in workplace settings and cultures. With the adoption of the concept of agile workspaces, new work environments and models are being considered, including BYOD policies.
And interestingly, BYOD adoption across businesses have been rather fast, thanks to the improved productivity, flexibility and collaboration it brings in the workplace. It also significantly reduces the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for companies, as they no longer have to purchase or upgrade a large number of devices. With offices leveraging smarter solutions for meeting rooms, BYOD is fast becoming the preferred choice for most enterprises.
Despite the fact that BYOD is a great step towards creating agile workspaces, there’s no denying the challenges it may pose during adoption:
In offices with a BYOD policy in place, there are multiple types of devices that enter a workspace or meeting setting. The diversity of devices, operating systems, and softwares can lead to significant compatibility issues when it comes to content sharing, regardless of whether the sharing is done wirelessly or not. Number of screens, different screen sizes, too many cables, etc. create additional problems for meeting holders and IT managers. Here, connecting personal devices with workplace tools like meeting room display systems can become a time-consuming and confusing affair.
In addition, situations where the team needs to switch between multiple devices to present different assets, compatibility issues result in huge loss of time and productivity. Moreover, IT personnel’s time is also wasted trying to troubleshoot the compatibility errors.
As the size of the meeting increases, both in terms of people and devices in the room, the stated challenges also become bigger.
BYOD creates a big challenge during meetings when the need for video conferencing arises. This is because, usually, video conferences are conducted using one of the attendees’ devices. And so, it becomes difficult when the meeting has multiple attendees. Using personal devices for video conferencing is best suited to cases where there is one-on-one web conferencing being conducted.
It is an even bigger hindrance when the attendee’s laptop/device is used for display purposes to view the remote person and can’t be used for additional meeting related requirements. Furthermore, before initiating a video conference, the problem of which application to use also comes up if a personal device is being used. The meeting holder needs to ensure that the device being used has the same application as the remote person’s. Else, it can cause delays and annoyances.
Security concern is also a big challenge when it comes to video conferencing with personal devices. This is because it is best to use approved devices when using the company’s video conferencing system so as to avoid security issues and restrictions it can pose when conducting the video conference.
Many managers believe that personal devices can be sources of distractions, especially during meetings, and can reduce productivity significantly. They suggest banning laptops and mobile phones from meetings altogether. But with BYOD, this rule can be problematic and difficult to implement as personal devices become important tools for employees to get work done, even during meetings.
Here, it is essential to make personal devices contributing factors to running efficient meetings, rather than detractors. It becomes important that both the meeting holders and attendees have clear expectations and guidelines to follow to ensure that the meeting conducted with personal devices present in the room is effective, efficient, as well as productive.
If you are working to build a BYOD friendly meeting environment for your workplace, it is important that you address and resolve the following:
While these are huge challenges to combat, it is not a lost cause! By setting guidelines in place and using the right tools and technologies, you can make your BYOD implementation effective, and ensure a smooth BYOD policy adoption in meeting settings. To take a step towards creating BYOD-friendly meeting space, check out our article on the right technologies to adopt and get closer to successful implementation of BYOD at your workplace.