Bring Your Own Device

Is BYOD turning us all into workaholics?

Staff may be working harder - and spending more - because of the bring-your-own-device trend and flexible working, according to a survey.

Flexible workers are putting in longer hours and paying more towards their gadgets, according to a survey that puts some of the blame on the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend.

Three-quarters of mobile workers who responded to the survey by iPass said they work at least five hours a week more as a result of being mobile - and 15 per cent thought they work an extra 20 hours a week.

It also looks as if workers are paying for the pleasure of BYOD. Some 18 per cent of mobile workers now pay their own smartphone bills - up six per cent year on year. The number of mobile employees who split their smartphone expenses with their employers has also increased, according to the iPass survey of 1,200 mobile workers.

But it seems that security measures haven't kept pace. Only three-quarters of workers said their company required security features on their mobile devices, and 15 per cent of staff didn't even have a passcode for their smartphone.

iPass said BYOD is effectively turning us into "a generation of productive workaholics", with many workers seemingly happy to work during their downtime in exchange for flexibility in how and where they work.

However, flexible working does offer some perks. When asked how they multitask when on a conference call, workers admitted to behaviour as varied as responding to email, making dinner, housework and watching TV, and even "drying my hair".

About

Steve Ranger is the UK editor of TechRepublic, and has been writing about the impact of technology on people, business and culture for more than a decade. Before joining TechRepublic he was the editor of silicon.com.

16 comments
CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Yet another reason to stick to doing work on work-issued systems.

scotth
scotth

That security hasn't kept pace is absolutely amazing to me. My droid has been hacked twice that I know of...I was watching it be hacked. One time the hacker was scrolling through youtube videos. Another time they were slowly going through all my contacts. Can you imagine being in sales and having all your contacts copied by a competitor? The hacker owned my phone. I couldn't get it to respond to a physical shutdown command (holding the power button down). I had to take the phone apart and remove the battery.

mc68h08
mc68h08

I've worked for 4 years with e-mails following me everywhere and everytime. Now my company is changing mobile phone company and did not give me a new smartphone after the theft of the Bb. They asked me to buy one, but I refused. I must confess that now I work less but the quality of my job improved a lot, so the overall productivity improved. When you receive an e-mail on a mobile device you tend to reply quickly even if it is not so urgent and you often come up with the wrong answer. Now I read my emails only during work time and I have time to check things and to act more effectively. I also noticed that many requests coming in the late afternoon (after 6 p.m.) are solved by the users before the end of the day or early morning by the users. I think this kind of gadgets should be reserved only to the executives as it used to be in beginning. Personal life improved to I sleep better and I am focused on the important things: - listening to my wife when she speaks - playing with my kids - working out without being interrupted. - ...

joshuaburke
joshuaburke

Research clearly shows roughly a 20% increase in work related "activity" as a result of BYOD. The real question is whether or not this is "productivity." The key factor is whether or not it generates good, crisp business-grade work or if it just makes people feel more connected and/or responsible for their work, which isn't all bad. As for those who can't see the "benefit" the day will come when "flexible schedule" will mean 24/7/365 and that will be the expectation. In many cases it already is the norm... And, frankly, for many IT pros it's been the norm for a very LONG time... The rest of the business is just catching up. I've been the Disaster Recovery on-call 24/7/365 for a company for years, with a DR phone within reach at all times. It takes it's toll. You are never really "off" of work. The price is paid in not sharpening your saw. That is why activity and productivity need to be segregated for the BYOD research to be relevant. In many cases businesses are shooting themselves in the foot by encouraging tired and dulled workers who really could use some vacation to sharpen up and bring their A-game to work every day.

johnmalaney
johnmalaney

I've worked as a consultant for many years and have always used my own mobile phone for work as well as personal use, there has been no additional cost for me in the UK as my voice plan has always been able to cover both uses. Historically I've tended to use a client provided laptop with a secure VPN connection and whole disk encryption to give me access to the client network and email on the move. I now find that I'm using Citrix more to get access to network resources at home via my own PC and broadband and a company provided smartphone to get email on the move. this means I'm carrying two phones for the first time in my career but not carrying my own laptop around as much as my own smartphone will accomplish what I need for personal use during the day.

dogknees
dogknees

The fact that I use my device at work doesn't mean I have to work on it after hours. Use it for work at work and for me outside of work. This whole idea that because something is possible it is appropriate is ridiculous. I work in IT and have no mobile phone, no tablet and no smartphone. I just can't come up with an adequate reason to buy any one of them. I neither need nor want to be available 24*7. The ability does not imply the necessity.

logos200
logos200

You see, this is EXACTLY what corporations and managers want: a nimble workforce that operates 24 hours a day, while only required to get paid for 40 hrs of work per week! Whether you realize it or not, every time you check an e-mail at home on your Blackberry or VPN into the company's network from home on a Saturday to check e-mails or prep work for Monday, you are working... for free...

rvanhaecke
rvanhaecke

Around the turn of the century office workers were expected to bring coal for the office stove, and their own pens and ink. Soon I expect that since workers can work remote they will be asked to pay rent for the office space when they use it.

Screaming_Chicken
Screaming_Chicken

Never even heard of the BYOD term outside of TechRepublic...can't fathom any serious corporation using these concept except perhaps for commission only sales force with a high turnaround.

moabrunner
moabrunner

I own a small IT consulting firm and here is what I have seen in the workplace as an IT consultant. The BYOD for the over 30 age bracket results in more hours working, and management also. 20 somethings and younger that are doing the BYOD have less work ethic and are wasting more time on facebook and other social websites. Granted this is just what I have seen I am sure it is not the same everywhere.

swanlzs
swanlzs

So is it primarily exempt/salaried workers who BYOD? Most workplaces pretty much track hours on hourly employees and not too keen on paying overtime.

maszsam
maszsam

Have run my own IT shop for years. I've only seen commission only sales with an assumed BYOD also. Then again maybe my sample base is limited as in not part of the industry sector that would use such things. Don't really know what BYOD would be good for other than some entry work. Use a lap top to make some real time corrections/changes to apps at meetings, reconfigure/test a network, make changes to a web site via the console, back up a database, etc, but refuse to get deep into it as mistakes are way harder to fix on a single 17" screen than full blow multi-monitor systems. Have done accounting on small monitors. Microscopic spread sheets that are almost impossible to tell the difference between a comma and a period and give you serious eye strain trying to read the numbers. Can not imagine any BOYD hardware that can touch a well done work station/lab: multi-monitors full keyboard, your favorite mouse etc. So what does that say: Pay an employee to work with inferior equipment? Can someone help us out here with what BYOD would be good for?

reggaethecat
reggaethecat

I remember having days off 'sick' when I was young - invariably it was when I'd been out late the night before and had too many drinks. As you get older with more responsibility in your job you tend to work harder. That's just the way it is.

reggaethecat
reggaethecat

Anyone who uses their home PC to connect via Citrix, or anyone who checks their work emails on their mobile is doing it. It's already here in various guises. BYOD can also mean the employee gets a choice of equipment provided by their employer -- e.g. a MacBook or a Dell, a Blackberry or an iPhone, etc.

maszsam
maszsam

reggaethecat, That is a bit broader definition for BYOD than what I was thinking. In the first instance, its not being brought as in "bring", and in the second its only "your own" as in being responsible for it. I'm good with that twist as long as its acceptable within the general usage of the term. And if that is the case then I've seen many instances where the company provides laptops and wireless phones or people are working from home through a remote server.

The_Real_BSAFH
The_Real_BSAFH

I'll be happy when they tell me I can roll my own...

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