Telling the truth about SME life today

How organisations can successfully implement remote working: Part 3

Canon recently commissioned an independent pan-European Office Insights study of 1,671 employees to help understand how working practices are evolving across Europe, and it revealed that a number of employees are under equipped by their employees when it comes to providing devices, which is why BYOD is becoming more important.

Moving on from part two , we will now look at the value of implementing a bring your own device (BYOD) policy can have to even the smallest organisation.

The value of bring your own device (BYOD)

It’s not surprising that SMBs are much quicker to adopt BYOD than larger organisations, with half of those surveyed already allowing it. This can also be regarded as part of the SMB survival technique. Not only does it enable SMBs to be more agile, but it also helps to reduce company costs as it saves them from having to invest in office equipment. Additionally, it also makes hiring freelancers easier, as enabling BYOD reduces the need for them to come into the workplace to access printers and scanners, so the cost of hiring workspaces can be avoided.

Although BYOD has many clear benefits, it’s also important to be aware of the risks. When considering the initiative for their workplace, small business owners should be aware that some of their staff might have already taken the leap, without waiting for approval. As long as the infrastructure allows for it, many employees will take the plunge and start using their own device as it allows for flexibility and access to emails out of hours. This isn’t the main worry, however, as the top concerns include the potential for documents to be lost and unauthorised access to documents. There’s also a risk that devices used for BYOD could potentially not comply with the company’s security policies and not have standard security features installed. Meaning lost devices could still have sensitive documents stored on them.

Now it’s your turn

Mobile working is coming, and it’s coming fast. Employees and small businesses are keen to use smartphones, tablets and cloud applications at work, but the blessing of mobile working technology can also be a curse if full consideration is not given to the security, employee usage and existing practice. If new technology is not aligned to business workflows and doesn’t support employees” working habits, it can decrease business productivity and data security.

Therefore, small businesses should be looking to:

  1. Review current document policies and working processes. This will help to identify where mobile and remote working can help to increase efficiency ;
  2. Include employees in the decision making process when introducing new technology for the workplace and make sure they receive training on how to use it; and
  3. Set business-wide security policies that cover mobile working and ensure that they comprehensively cover the use of cloud applications and BYOD.

The beauty of small businesses lies in their ability to adapt quickly to emerging trends and stay ahead of the technological curve. These simple steps hold the key to unlocking the potential of mobility in the workplace, no matter what size your organisation is.

Francis Thornhill is European & UK marketing manager of Canon Europe.


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