Bring your Own Device Series, Part 1 of 2: The advantages of BYOD

August 5, 2013

Bring Your Own DeviceLaw firms across the country are increasingly embracing policies of “Bring Your Own Device,” or “BYOD.”

The policy is one in which the employer asks, allows, or requires its attorneys to use their personally-owned electronic devices, such as smart phones and tablets, for business purposes.  This is distinguishable from more traditional policies which delineate between an employee’s “work device” and “personal device.”

There are quite a few benefits to having such a policy in place, for both the employer and employee.

For the employer, having employees supply their own devices for business purposes means that the employers themselves need not supply the devices, greatly reducing equipment costs.

Attorneys who use their own devices for work purposes will also likely be more accessible when not in the office, improving communications.

Further, BYOD policies give attorneys the flexibility to work in the office without actually working in the office, leading to greater worker productivity and efficiency.

But the benefits of BYOD aren’t one-sided.

To the employee, the ability to use one’s own smart phone or tablet opens up a great deal of flexibility in how to best balance his or her work and personal life.  It also allows flexibility in terms of where the employee does the work—at home, in the office, on public transit etc.

It’s then easy to see how BYOD policies can lead to happier employees.  In fact, according to a 2012 American Lawyer survey, 70% of the 83 law firm chief informational officers (CIO) and technology executives who responded to the survey reported the largest benefit of their BYOD policy to be “more cheerful users.”

Despite all of the benefits that BYOD offers, there are some unfortunate drawbacks for employer and attorney, tune in next week to find out what some of the drawbacks are to BYOD.