There are a lot of reasons to invest in and outfit your workforce with contemporary tech. Tablets and smartphones, for example, allow you to dramatically reduce your company’s carbon footprint and overhead costs. Cloud access allows that workforce to work remotely, which improves its productivity and loyalty. And, because you are the one who supplies their tech (an excellent tax deduction, fyi), you don’t have to worry about someone’s laptop accidentally uploading malware to your servers, the way you would in a BYOD environment.
Of course, if you’re going to be handing out expensive tech, you’re going to want to do everything you can to make sure that that tech is taken care of and used appropriately. Here are the best ways you can keep your investments safe and free from abuse.
In addition to supplying the tech itself, you’ll also want to supply that tech’s protective gear. For instance, if your team uses the iPhone 6, you should also supply iPhone 6 cases. This way you’ll know that their devices will look professional and you won’t be passing the expense on to your team. Plus, when you order cases and other physical protection like screen shields, etc. in bulk, you can often get them for less than you’d spend buying them one at a time. Also, you can deduct the cost on your company’s taxes.
In addition to protecting the outside of the devices you hand out, you need to protect the inside. This is especially true if your team will be using Android, Linux, or Windows devices. That’s right: there are viruses and spyware that are smartphone and tablet compatible now! Make sure your devices have top-notch malware protection in place so that you won’t have to worry about your equipment should an employee connect to the cloud via an open wi-fi signal.
Hopefully, your employees already know the basics of keeping their devices safe. They likely take measures to keep their personal devices out of the hands of thieves. Insist that they be just as, if not more, careful with their work machines.
It’s also good to install apps that will “brick” the device if a passcode is entered incorrectly more than a few times. “Find my iPhone” is also helpful. There are also apps that can track the phone even when it is off. If your workforce is mobile and travels a lot, this is definitely something you’ll want to install.
One of the main reasons CEOs hesitate before allowing their workforces to work remotely is their fear that their employees will slack off when allowed to work from home. Rest assured that science shows that productivity actually increases when employees are allowed to work from home at least part-time (they also take fewer sick and vacation days). And thanks to coworking apps, far-flung employees can still work simultaneously on projects in real-time pretty simply.
If you pride yourself on being a (metaphorically of course) hands-on boss, there are apps and software programs you can install on these tech devices that monitor all of the activity that happens on them. You can check in to remotely monitor an employee’s progress or productivity. You can also get reports sent in that detail the time spent on which apps and websites.
Keeping Behavior in Check
There’s always that guy in the office who arranges his desk so that his desktop monitor faces away from the bullpen or the window of his office. And everybody knows what he’s looking at when he thinks nobody is paying attention. This is a very real worry that many employers have when they supply their employee bases with smartphones and tablets.
Guess what: parental controls work just as well for employees as they do for kids. Set up your devices to access only the apps you want them to use and block the sites you don’t want them accessing via company devices. Require administrative authorization before downloading anything. Make your employees “play solitaire” on their own devices.
With current tech, you are well on your way to mobilizing and globalizing your workforce. You reduce your company’s overhead while maximizing productivity and profits. As long as you take steps to protect company issued tech, it will always be in your best interest to keep up with tech trends and devices.