Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is an Internet access technology being adopted by firms globally. Its a terminology which allows Internet users to access online resources using their own flexible devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
By Cisco Eng. Shingie Lev Muringi
Doubts about security and privacy, when it comes to accessing both corporate and personal data via the cloud, have largely been outweighed by the productivity and culture benefits that the BYOD revolution offers organisations.
The basics of a solid corporate BYOD policy can easily be found on the internet, however, one of the biggest by-products of such schemes is blurring the line between ones work life and home life.
“Cloud-based enterprise applications have ensured that employees have the ability to access what they need at anytime, anywhere, with many professionals adopting a work/life balance that does not separate the two,” explains Stephen Ball, Senior Vice President of Europe & Africa at Aspect Software, a leading provider of fully-integrated consumer engagement, workforce optimisation, and self-service solutions.
Many businesses believe that the BYOD revolution has improved the productivity of their workforce, allowing their employees to reap the benefits of ‘work’ no longer being confined to the office. However, with the millennial age growing at a rapid rate, the marrying of work & home life may be an unfamiliar change. “I recently read an article pertaining to a study that was conducted in Germany that concludes that Millennials (or Generation Z) have a need for a clear separation of work and private life. They demand a precise end to the working day and as for working at home? This is a concept that is somewhat foreign to them,” continues Ball.
As an experienced manager of successful teams of people of all ages and career levels, Stephen’s sentiments are that unfortunately, most of today’s offices don’t work in a way that allows employees to leave their work at the office. Due to this, a mixture of home and work life has become a necessity. “Employees are expected to be able to manage their workloads and BYOD has greatly assisted this culture by making it easier for employees to access their work anywhere and at any time while maintaining a healthy work/life balance,” adds Ball.
Contact centre agents, many of whom are part of the world’s 98 million Millennials, present different employee engagement challenges when compared to other roles. “Today’s contact centre agents have a varied and challenging job that draws on their valuable customer service skills more than ever before. The introduction of cloud computing for managing interactions across multiple channels, and the integration of back office processes into customer-facing operations, has upped the employee engagement stakes,” explains Ball.
Smartphone and tablet reliance has not been ignored either as there seems to be a trend for savvy managers to take advantage of the Millennial workforce’s need to be constantly connected. “Of these managers that I’ve spoken to, swathes of agents have been given back control of their working lives thanks to the inclusion of BYOD schemes. BYOD not only helps meet peaks and troughs in demand by creating home-working conditions that help individuals achieve gainful employment, but it also supports advancements such as apps that allows agents to change their shifts. This is creating a new landscape of blurring the lines between work and home, and in turn, changing the working culture of the contact centre,” explains Ball.
With this ever changing culture, and the changing role of the agent, introducing BYOD into this environment has proven to have a positive impact on engagement. “The more engaged you are, the less likely you are to notice these ‘blurred lines’. I believe engaged agents are successful agents and Millennials are more likely to share good customer service experiences with engaged agents on social media. This opens up the channels for consistent, positive customer experiences,” concludes Ball.