BYOD workers, like remote workers, are more engaged.
I have noticed that people who take up our Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) offer are more tolerant of technical problems with their devices than people who I provide a device for. They also appear to be highly motivated towards making the corporate environment a better place – and are proud to be personally doing something about it.
As certain as death and taxes, all devices will crash from time to time. To use a completely unscientific generalisation, I have observed that the BYOD crowd, re-start, try again and get on with it, while the corporate device crowd move more quickly from patience to frustration.
When we launched our BYOD scheme at Solihull, we were concerned that it would create an increase demand in reactive IT support. So far this has not been the case – we are monitoring and it appears not to be causing a problem. We have a Support Your Own Device bulletin board where real BYOD users can ask question and provide answers to support each other.
I was intrigued recently to read a Harvard Business Review blog showing that people who work remotely from their leaders were more engaged, more committed and rated their leader more highly than people who shared an office with their leader. (bit.ly/VS3KhB )
The Harvard blogger, Scott Edgar, identifies 4 key reasons why remote workers are more engaged, centred mostly on the physical distance creating a need for people (both leaders and followers) to connect more.
There’s another thing though. I’m certain with BYOD, the sense of personal ownership, creates a commitment. At Solihull, nobody is forced to bring their own device – but if they want to, we have secure options they can use. So people have chosen the device, chosen to spend their money on it and chosen to use it at work. If something goes wrong, people share more in the current situation and in the problem solving. It’s not just “them doing something to me”.
I’m sure there is something similar in the remote and home worker. If you have chosen the environment you work in to be your home, there is no-one but you to grumble at about the room temperature, office noise, or whether you have a window seat. If you think you need more management attention, it’s up to you to pick up the phone. So you do. The sense of personal choice has created a sense of personal ownership which creates a sense of engagement.
The Harvard analysis shows that remote workers do not have a monopoly on being engaged (many conventional office workers are too). And neither do BYOD workers have a unique charm. Most of our Solihull staff with corporate devices are highly motivated. It’s just that many of the BYOD vanguard appear to be particularly cheerful and enthusiastic about doing their jobs, which adds an edge.
As it is with “remote workers”, so it is with “BYOD workers”. More engaged, more connected, more efficient.
[Thanks to Secure Edge networks for the picture, by the way]