At the recent SAF Annual Convention in Florida I talked with many florists about the need for a BYOD (bring your own device) policy in their flower shops. BYOD policies define the acceptable use of personal electronic devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.) in the workplace. Larger businesses have (and enforce) these policies. Small businesses need to do the same.
Why? The owner of a restaurant works hard to create, maintain and present a certain image to their clients. Would they want pictures of the garbage disposal area and shared online? Even if they were following the guidelines and passing all inspections those are usually not the images they want to present of their establishment. That goes for most businesses – there is a particular image they want to present, and the back rooms are generally not part of it.
Lost productivity is also a major concern. It might take only a few seconds to check messages, reply to a text, send a tweet or post to Facebook but all of those seconds add up and cost the employer in terms of productivity.
The nature of the internet itself is another major challenge. Virtually any type of content is available at all times but much of it is inappropriate for the workplace. Some of it could easily be considered offensive and contribute to what some employees might consider a hostile work environment.
Courtesy and professionalism also matter in retail. No customer wants to deal with employees that are distracted by their phones.
A personal device policy is something employers of all sizes need to consider.