Presented by: GlobeSt.

Author: Kelsi Maree Borland, Featuring Drew Carter and Anna Alm-Grayhek

Companies are adopting bring-your-own device programs, where employees use their own personal devices on the job. These programs allow employees to use their device of choice on site—increasing efficiency and nixing the standard one-to-one system where a company needs to own the technology infrastructure from end-to-end.

“There is a move away from the standardized office space that companies have been supplying,” Drew Carter, a studio director at H. Hendy Associates, tells GlobeSt.com. “Companies have supplied standardized computers, software, phones. Today, technology is moving toward an office design where knowledge workers have a better level of control over what they are using and how they are getting their jobs done. It is less prescriptive and more about thinking rather than simply executing tasks.”

Cell phones and mobile devices are the gateway for this strategy, and most employees would prefer to use their own phone. “We have gotten so used to blending our cell phones between our personal life and our work life, and that device is now becoming more general. Employees get their emails on their own device now,” Anna Alm-Grayhek, studio director at Hendy, tells GlobeSt.com.

Using a model where employees use their own devices is about increasing communication rather than controlling technology. “In the past, the only way that a company could guarantee that an employee had a way to community was to own that infrastructure from end to end,” says Carter. “Today, they don’t need to do that. They can design how their people are going to work together, and that is informing the physical design of the space.”

The model not only benefits companies technology resources and eases communication, but it also increases efficiency, allowing companies to tailor technology based on the job duties. “The more we have resources assigned based on who you are and not what you are doing is ineffective,” says Carter. “It is really about optimizing for a task. A lot of companies are finding out that you can’t emulate a generic style and have it be successful for you. You have to build an environment that does what you need it to do.”

Alm-Grayhek adds that the goal is really about providing flexibility. “The bottom line is that people need access, and whatever form that takes doesn’t really matter,” she says. “As long as you have access to resources and files is the key. Whatever device an employee wants is fine. It just needs to work.”

Most companies are adopting this strategy, really across industry types. “It is fairly universal except for companies that have security concerns. It is key to make sure that company details are secure but open enough so that people can access the network,” says Alm-Grayhek. Companies with increased security needs are largely in the finance, medical and regulatory markets.