Smart phones and other technology have become the norm in the workplace, but who does the device belong to and why is it important? Many employees are bringing their own device to work at the request of their employer or of their own accord which raises a myriad of HR issues. There are many risks and costs involved with this “bring your own device” phenomena. Three major HR concerns that should be addressed in any BYOD policy are:
Harassment: Most employers have a policy prohibiting sexual harassment, but this is quickly forgotten by employees using their own devices for work communication. Texting is a major problem area because employees are often more casual in texts than in email communication, which can lead to sexually explicit or otherwise inappropriate texts. While employers cannot track texts on employees’ personal devices; recipients can and do save the texts and use them to sue the employer for sexual harassment. Reinforce that employees need to use good judgment and follow the employer’s policy, even when using their personal devices to communicate with co-workers and others during work time.