Should You Allow Your Employees to Use Personal Devices to Work from Home?

According to a recent Gallup Poll survey, nine in 10 “Work from Home” (WFH) employees wish to maintain remote work. The same number of people anticipate keeping remote hours, signaling that many business owners have put their return-to-work plans on hold.

This far into the pandemic, employers should have a WFH policy in place to protect the business. Security measures are especially important when employees use personal devices to conduct company business. Among other things, the policy should include guidance on:

  • Creating and maintaining strong passwords;
  • Visiting websites that are not work-related; and
  • Storing devices securely.

Should you allows your employees to use personal devices to WFH?

A HP Inc. study revealed that 51 percent of employers have seen evidence in their company of personal computers being used to access company systems in the past year. Using an unsecure device to access company files could lead to legal troubles for the business owner and even the employee for the following reasons:

  • Using a personal device to store certain information could, in some instances, be viewed as a violation of data security laws.
  • Storing confidential information on a personal device could leave to claims of misappropriation.
  • Saving company materials on a personal device may allow the employee the ability to retain materials after he or she has left the company.
  • Some businesses may be subject to regulatory requirements to maintain and keep all communications with third parties. Using a personal device for such communications may make it difficult or impossible for the business to meet the regulatory requirements.
  • Data stored on outside devices may not be processed in congruence with company policy. This is important for managing legal holds, and ensuring data is included in the company’s disaster recovery and business continuity systems.
  • Third party access to personal devices may breach confidentiality agreements, expose sensitive information, jeopardize trade secret and patent protection laws, and more.

Help is available

The attorneys at O’Reilly Rancilio are available to assist business owners interested in reviewing or developing business policies. To learn more, please visit our website or call 586-726-1000.

Categories: Business