Precautions to take when employees use personal tech at work

Alan Price – CEO at BrightHR

January 08 2015

As technology advances so does the need for employers to adapt. Christmas has resulted in more employees bringing their own personal technology to the workplace, whether it’s an iPhone or a tablet device such as an iPad. Employers need to look at whether it is beneficial that employees use their own personal tech. My concerns relate to data - is it right that employees download all important data to their personal device? Whether it be client information, financial reports or business plans, the fact that is sensitive information is available for an employee to do whatever they want which raises concern - this is why I believe that restrictive covenants are essential. What prevents an employee who may well leave your employment from extracting the information and important data that they have on their mobile device and taking it with them to their next employment, especially if the company is a competitor? Personally, whilst it may be more convenient and cost effective to allow employees to use their own technology, I believe that the potential issue of misuse of business data to be concerning to employers. Also, look at the possible issues with employees using your network to access the internet, are you aware of what websites they are browsing on their personal devices? Do you know if they are downloading software or even worse what if they accidentally upload a virus? These are all issues that you need to examine, however in my experience employers are not aware of all personal computer equipment being used.  What you need to do is introduce a HR policy that outlines and instructs employees what to do if they wish to use their own personal technology in the workplace, how do they go about asking for permission, what health & safety checks need to be undertaken and are risk assessments on personal technology required? Ensure any policies you introduce are watertight, compliant with HR laws and communicated to all staff so to ensure that everyone is fully aware

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