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Bring your own device: One small step for man, one giant leap for organisations

Halfway through 2014 and the use of personal devices in the workplace is very much common practice across most workforces in the UK. However, whilst many people are still talking about the effect the "bring your owndevice" policies (BYOD) are having on staff productivity, the cost-saving discussions have remained on the side-lines.

According to recent research, having the latest consumer device to use in the boardroom or replacing a notepad for a tablet is proving to be so popular with employees that 39 per cent not only purchase their own device for work purposes but also spend more of their own money on devices than on tea and coffee.

Read more: The 10 Commandments of BYOD (opens in new tab)

This research indicates that users deem having items such as smartphones and tablets as essential to their everyday lives as food and drink. It also highlights that users pay for their own devices to use at work. Buying devices to be used in the workplace would never have been on employees' agenda in the past, but now "off the shelf" devices have become so mainstream that to turn up to work without one could be considered a business faux pas.

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As a result of this device revolution, organisations benefit from gaining additional devices in the workplace, which, one aren't funded by the IT budget, and two enable employees to work outside of the normal boundaries of nine to five. Workers also benefit from BYOD policies that empower and allow them flexibility to break away from their desks and enjoy working on their device of choice rather than the traditional, old, clunky laptop the IT department provides. Additionally, using one device for both areas of life enables workers to switch quickly between work and personal affairs, saving time and increasing productivity.

Read more: BYOD proving difficult transition, as half of all companies don't bother (opens in new tab)

For those companies that have yet to adopt a BYOD policy, now is the time to prioritise user-oriented IT. A user-oriented approach is vital in empowering a workforce and, whilst it might seem like a daunting task for the IT department to keep track of devices due to the sudden increase across the workplace, there are solutions to identify employee devices, track how information is being shared on each, and ensure security on every device.

While the initial stages might seem challenging, the long term benefits for all involved are tremendous. The money being saved by businesses can be reinvested not only in other resources, but also in employees to make their working lives easier and more enjoyable.