4 Considerations Before Using a Bring-Your-Own-Computer to Work Program

ITBusinessEdge wrote a great piece yesterday, Employeed-Owned Computer Programs: Diving into Murky Waters which brings up an interesting trend in the workplace and raises some potential legal, security and HR issues.  A “BYOC” program could be a fantastic way for businesses to save money, improve employee performance and engagement, etc, but here’s 4 implications to consider first:

  1. Who “owns” the data? Make sure all employees are covered under data ownership agreements, that state all work-related data and applications are the property of the company.  And at the time of termination, etc that transfer and erasure of the data must be witnessed and verified by the internal IT resources.  Update and utilize intellectual property and confidentiality agreements.
  2. A Security Blackhole?! Provide all your staff with security and anti-virus programs, and conduct occasional audits to verify proper security measures are in place.  Include a security agreement stating the employee will take all necessary and mandated precautions.
  3. Who owns the laptop? Your company puts in a couple grand, but the employee bought it, so then who owns it?  Before the employee gets the money, require a “graduated pay-back” of the funds.  For example, each month represents $200 depreciation of the funds – so if you gave $2000 and the employee leaves 6 months later, they owe back $800.  Check with your accountant for the best way to handle it.  Utilize a waiver to satisfy any employment standards requirements regarding pay deductions.
  4. Make it a choice.  Allow employees the option of a company provided computer or participating in a BYOC program.  Some employees may not be interested in purchasing another computer.

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