At the 2014 SAF Annual Convention I spoke with several florists about the importance of a BYOD (bring your own device) policy. Such policies define the acceptable use of personal electronic devices likes smartphones and tablets in the workplace. Larger businesses enforce policies and small businesses need to do the same.
Think about a restaurant... would they want employees taking pictures of the prep areas, kitchen or garbage disposal, and then potentially sharing on Facebook? Even if they were not just following or exceeding all official guidelines and passing all inspections those are generally not the images they want to present to the world. That goes for most businesses – ownership wants to present one brand and image to the world, and the back rooms are usually not part of that.
Courtesy and professionalism are also factors that need to be considered. People have a habit of checking their devices almost absentmindedly, but does a customer really want to deal with a salesperson, server or clerk that is also checking their phone?
Lost productivity is another issue. Sure – we might spend only a few seconds at a time checking our devices but all of those seconds add up and it is the employer that loses out.
And the nature of the internet presents challenges as well – it means almost any content is available at any time. But so much of that content is inappropriate for the workplace and could be offensive to other employees that could claim they were subjected to a hostile work environment.
A personal device policy is something employers need to consider.