BYOD and Remote Work: Resistance Is Futile

byod bring your own device

Small businesses that are adopting “mobile workstyles”—that is, allowing their employees to work whenever, wherever and however they choose—are enjoying productivity gains of more than 30 percent, according to new research sponsored by Citrix.

If your small business doesn’t yet offer remote or mobile work as an option, you might soon be in the minority. In the study, which polled small businesses worldwide, one-third of small business owners say there’s “more pressure” to offer or increase their mobile and flexible work options compared to five years ago.

Employees were the biggest source of the pressure. Nearly 30 percent report their employees are asking for remote work options. That’s more than the number offering remote work to meet budget considerations, improve productivity or enjoy competitive advantages.

BYOD, Bring Your Own Device

The BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), trend is a major factor in the growing demand for remote work.

In 42 percent of global small businesses, employees in all departments, not just remote workers or customer-facing staff, are now asking if they can use their personal devices for business.

In fact, employees in 68 percent of American small businesses already use personal devices for work. Employees want BYOD because they claim it makes their lives easier, enabling them to manage both their personal and business lives as the line between the two blurs.

What Devices Are Most Useful in Remote Work?

While tablets are key business tools for 25 percent of respondents, they’re still far behind smartphones in terms of importance. Sixty-five percent of survey respondents name smartphones as their most-relied-on device, compared to just 58 percent who cite desktop computers.

Small businesses are increasingly using social collaboration tools such as video conferencing, with nearly half of respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing that these tools make meetings more productive. Collaboration tools are growing in popularity both because they’re getting easier to use (cited by 39 percent) and because they’re increasingly necessary to deal with widely dispersed work teams and customers (says 32 percent).

Driven by easier access to high-definition video, 52 percent of small business owners regularly use video conferencing in their businesses, and nearly half say it makes their companies more productive.

Being more efficient in meetings is especially important since 27 percent of senior execs polled say they’re spending more time in meetings than they did five years ago.

With summer in full swing, it’s interesting to note that small business owners believe remote/mobile work can solve a common problem – decreased productivity during the summer months. Forty-one percent say that a mobile strategy could help employees be more productive during this time.

What Do These Survey Results Mean to You?

Clearly, remote work is not going anywhere soon.

With both employees and the 24/7 nature of business demanding it, smart small businesses will develop policies to keep their data secure, manage devices and lay out expectations for how employees should work when they’re out of the office.

If you’re still resisting the concept of remote work, it’s time to give in or risk becoming a dinosaur.

BYOD Photo via Shutterstock


Rieva Lesonsky Rieva Lesonsky is a Columnist for Small Business Trends covering employment, retail trends and women in business. She is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her blog, SmallBizDaily, to get the scoop on business trends and free TrendCast reports.

11 Reactions
  1. From a productivity standpoint, I find that my hands are too large to use a tablet keyboard like a regular keyboard, so I end up using it like a smart phone. However, since it’s so much bigger, it is actually faster to type emails & such on my smart phone. So when I work remotely the number one choice is a laptop, smart phone second and tablet last.

  2. It really is amazing how much this is revolutionizing the working world. Not only are desktops becoming obsolete, but it almost seems that offices themselves are unnecessary. There is so much growth here, but I imagine working from home or on the go will be practiced much more than not.

    Thank you for the post.

  3. As I was reading the first few lines, I wonder what those who work in Yahoo can say about this (no pun intended). Thanks for sharing this research anyway. I guess, today’s lifestyle and climate change demands for the BYOD trend to become the new normal.

  4. As this transition occurs, it is becoming ever more important for small businesses to make sure they are able to manage the change. SMBs need to dedicate whatever they can to developing as complete of a mobile management and security strategy as possible. Such a strategy goes beyond simply encouraging users to download a security app. A complete mobile security and management strategy involves clearly defined policies and technologies such as mobile device management and mobile application management to help enforce those policies. So, while encouraging users to follow security best practices is important, it’s only one piece of the puzzle.

    Swarna Podila

  5. About a decade ago the growth of cell phones started due to the availability all segments of mobile phones with attractive prices ranges and features. All ranges of phones and the explosion of the communication network all over India helped in the tremendous growth of Indian mobile phone industry. The industry is growing rapidly with new handset technologies and models like smartphones ruling the market and variety available in the market adding every passing day. Due to the increasing disposable income of the people as well as the new technology emerging the smartphone market is flourishing like never before. Even the organizations are using the mobile devices for the corporate work.

    It is creating lot of problems for the organizations to manage such a huge variety of devices. To make the business more productive and manage all the devices within the organization the company needs system to support it. In order to prepare the business for future smart mobile strategy need to be followed. Enterprises are shifting their focus towards mobile device management solutions.

    Mobile device management helps in configuring the device, securing the data, monitoring the device remotely etc. Company can just use the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync if they just need to manage the email and calendar. It is very simple to install.

    If the company just has RIM devices within organization then they should opt for BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

    But nowadays companies have mix of devices available. For this innumerable companies are present that offer mobile device management solutions. It helps to simplify the process of managing the devices that are spread over the different networks.

    With help of this solution there is restriction on downloading the personal content or apps. Security is the main parameter that is looked upon in this solution. Before implementing this solution you need to be sure that how many and which devices are there in the organization so that you can keep track on that.

  6. In remote working, technologies like web conferencing and video conferencing are used. Tools like webex, gomeetnow, gotomeeting, R-HUB web video conferencing servers etc. are widely used by businesses and employees for interactive collaboration and online meetings.

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