Should store associates be allowed to use their personal devices?
According to a study in the U.K. by Fujitsu, 65 percent of the 1000 associates surveyed have used their mobile or other personal device in order to do their job more effectively.
One reason is that many retailers don’t provide such devices. But even when staff have enough systems and devices to go around, problems persist.
Half of those surveyed (50 percent) noted that the retailer-provided devices perform slowly. More than a third (37 percent) suggest that they find it quicker to get on with their jobs without using the tech they are issued. About a quarter of associates (24 percent) worry that the in-store technology looks outdated and could give customers a bad impression.
Moreover, a large number of associates believe shoppers are able to access a broader (70 percent) and more rapidly sourced (72 percent) array of information about products using their own devices than associates are with company-provided devices.
As detailed in a recent RetailWire discussion, cost is the primary reason retailers don’t provide associates with devices. A secondary factor is a lack of trust in how workers will use supplied devices.
The BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) to work strategy remains under debate in many workplaces. The pros include being able to better recruit younger consumers accustomed to their always-on smartphones. Some companies apply restrictions, such as only checking social media during breaks. For work purposes, personal devices eliminate company costs and may be a better tool in developing stronger consumer relations, even on social media.
The cons relating to privacy and security threats were spelled out by Fujitsu. According to the report, “From colleagues sharing information on individuals that they may deem to be a risk to a store to customers providing personal information that is captured on an unsecured device, the possible pitfalls resulting from the circumvention of official systems are all too plentiful.”
- The Forgotten Selling Floor – Fujitsu
- Why are so many associates being deprived of tech by their employers? – RetailWire
- Great tips for a successful BYOD implementation – Social Barrel
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Should stores allow associates to use their personal mobile devices for work purposes on selling floors? How big a concern is security when workers use unsecured devices?