back to article Hold onto your hats and follow the BYOD generation

A recent survey has suggested that young people would be willing to accept lower pay as long as they could use their own mobile devices in the workplace Really? Would and should an employer be happy to take somebody on who values personal data access over and above core compensation for a job well done? If this trend is real …

Anonymous Coward

G@damn......I'm still trying to.......

So, Facebook is such an influence that people would actually accept lower pay so they can check......whatever the hell they are checking, from work?

Am I......Am I missing something here?

The way I see this, these damn kids are too worried about trivial things, like what other people are saying or doing, that they cant or wont focus on the task they were HIRED to do.

I....sound like an old person....

"Back in my day we didn't have these damn smart phones and facebooks and twitter birds, and internets, we used REAL phones with CORDS and we TALKED to people, and only ONE of US could do it at one time! And we LIKED IT, We LOVED IT!

Damn kids and their damn phones. All we had were corded phones and we were PROUD to have them!"

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Coat

@Taylor1

> The way I see this, these damn kids are too worried about trivial things, like what other people are saying or doing, that they cant or wont focus on the task they were HIRED to do.

Says the person posting to a forum during working hours (under the generous assumption you're in the UK and gainfully employed to work 9-5, M-F)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Taylor1

Doh!

You get a thumbs up!

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"All we had were corded phones and we were PROUD to have them!"

We still have a rotary dial phone at our house.

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We still have a rotary dial phone at our house.

KARMA POLICE! ARREST THIS MAN!!

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Agreed. I'm still trying to understand what "being social" using a smartphone or tablet, has to do with living this thing called "Life" in the work/life balance equation.

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Anonymous Coward

"It implies that I am no more than a replaceable part in a machine"

Yep, you're replaceable. Not directly on a like-for-like basis but sufficiently for business to continue.

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As a business policy ...

... I have often said that if someone is irreplaceable, you should fire them!

Too often people become irreplaceable by hoarding and not sharing knowledge, and such people are never good for an organisation.

By extension, everybody should be replaceable.

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WTF?

You want me-

-to bring in my own kit, to use for work. And you want to pay me less...?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You want me-

Actually, it's more like I (the millennials) want to bring in my own kit to use to play on, but you'll pay me less, cause I'll spend half the day posting on Twitter and Facebook instead of doing the work that you're paying me for.

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So the argument is..

.. do it because it is hip? Business logic at the very finest.

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Devil

Not quite so clear-cut

Much as I despise the whole Facebook culture that draws people in and mines their souls (see icon) I think the answer might not be so clear-cut. Perhaps an organisation that's tolerant of social media use (in addition to work!) as opposed to one that locks down everything not directly business-related is seen as more relaxed, and hence a more comfortable place to work.

If the differential is small, say a couple of hundred quid I can see how that would appeal. If it's significant, like a 20% cut in salary then sanity checks are required.

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Personally the cutoff from social media in the workplace should be encouraged rather than whittled away. I like to separate my professional life from my home and social life, dragging one into the other makes both suffer.

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BYOD - Security

Do these young people not realise they'll still be sitting behind a proxy. I'll still be monitoring all web access. I'll enforce the end points have up to date AV and the correct security patches before they are allowed on the LAN, and that even then access will be limited to certain systems only and a VDI will be used for the rest. Hell at least I'm saving company money and I'll still sack them if they don't work hard. BYOD just got more tempting!!!

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Well duh

BYOD equally a lower salary is a no brainer for me. Why? Because I know exactly what it costs to implement BYOD. I'm not one of the guys who makes the decision, but one of the hats I wear mean that I would be one of the guys involved in the process of making it happen.

Anyway what it boils down to is that our relatively small organization (about 1500 employees total, plus 7000ish students, though realistically only about half of them are old enough to be expected to bring devices) would need something on the order of a $2,000,000 investment in infrastructure to make BYOD possible. That's mostly expanding our wireless capability to account for everyone having a device on top of all the wireless devices we already support.

And then after that initial investment (which is a hefty chunk of our annual IT budget already) there is the ongoing additional security concern. Now suddenly instead of one centralized antivirus solution paired with a well managed firewall we have thousands of unknown devices on our network which may or may not have proper security precautions in place. For all we know a previous employer might have installed a remote control app on that BYOD iPad and now has access to all of our student records. (And yes, such things exist. We have one that we install on our iPads.)

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Re: Well duh

Split your WiFi into trusted and untrusted domains.

Strictly control what can connect to the trusted domain by key or strict access control.

Let the untrusted one be a free for all, with a disclaimer that using it is at the user's own risk.

If there is a requirement for the untrusted devices to connect to trusted services, treat all of the connections as if they were from the Internet proper, and put the correct firewall and barrier controls in place to protect your core services.

Use additional DMZs if that allows you to contain access.

There is absolutely no need to allow BYO devices to connect to your core networks for social media access. If you want them to use their devices for work, you may need to think a bit harder, but for just social media access, it's not that difficult.

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Something to be said for workplace culture

Disclaimer: I think anyone who would voluntarily accept lower pay solely so they could play on Facebook and tweet while working is a little silly and deluded about their relative importance in the world.

But -- there really is something to be said about a company that has a decent culture. I'm not talking about Google-style futuristic lounge furniture and silly college kid-oriented perks. I'm talking about a reasonable level of trust of the employees. I've worked for a place that was run like a call center, even for professional staff. Proxy blocks everything non-work related, managers micromanage, and connecting anything to the network is a firing offense. Most people who had a choice got out of there quickly, and the word around town is such that people try to avoid working there in the first place. My current employer is pretty decent, and people do indeed accept lower pay here for a more relaxed atmosphere. And in return, I sometimes get up at 2 AM after solving a problem in my sleep to put in some effort to write down the answer before work.

My wife kind of has the opposite situation - she works for an outfit that pays higher than average for similar work, and has a good job but the culture at least in her division absolutely sucks. How many professional-level, salaried employees do you know that are subject to a daily attendance count and not allowed to count off-hours work as work time? Needless to say she's looking for something else but the extra money she makes is tempting. Some manager types really don't understand that there's a difference managing a retail worker or call center worker, where your primary concern is whether they're sober while working and eventually make it in, and a professional who puts in a lot of extra time and effort.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Something to be said for workplace culture @Erik

Counting "off-hours work as work time" is unusual in my experience, not the norm.

I've worked at many organisations who don't recognise out-of-hours work as chargeable time unless pre-arranged. It's not just about getting the job done, it's also about controlling costs. If you are lucky, and the work is regarded as important, and you can be spared during the day, you may be allowed to take time-off-in-lieu.

More often than not, as a "salaried professional", you are expected to do the extra work and not get anything in return. No, I don't agree with it, but that is what happens in too many places (I currently work for IBM, and my contract specifically states that I can be asked to work up to three hours extra per day without extra remuneration. Fortunately, I can refuse).

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Re: Something to be said for workplace culture @Erik

By that, I meant being dinged for being "late" after having done the equivalent amount of work after the kiddies went to bed -- not overtime in the strictest sense. Being a dad for the last few years really has exposed me to how unpredictable daily life can get when you add 2 kids to the mix.

Example, I'm a boss of a small team, small enough that we all work like dogs to keep up with the schedule. If somebody says they need to come in a couple hours late, I don't blink an eye because I know it all evens out and people will be putting in the effort when it counts later. And I often have to do the same things -- coming in late, leaving early, working crazy hours to make it up, etc.

You're right though - where this gets sticky is when you're charging time to a customer...but that's not the case here. They're just being idiots.

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EFA

"The report suggests 45 per cent of young professionals are FUCKING IMBECILES".

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Facepalm

lol

“I would feel that a company that attempted to pay me less based on this idea didn’t really value me. It implies that I am no more than a replaceable part in a machine, rather than being a unique fit to a role in the organisation"

That's...just funny. A business is a machine. A business has jobs which are made up of tasks that need to be performed. Very very few businesses can survive when built around a unique snowflake which might call in sick or decide it's changed it's mind and wants to go do something else or is simply no longer available. Therefore each person filling a job has to be a replaceable machine part. That's just the way it works.

This doesn't mean that your personal experience while fulfilling that role needs to be dreary. It can be fun, upbeat and exciting! However, just recognize that if you are no longer there that the Business will continue. Everyone in this capacity is ultimately replaceable from the CEO on down to the cleaning crew. They can each contribute their own spin to the position, but if they were to no longer be there someone else would fill those shoes.

Now there are certain businesses that are built around a special snowflake. They are called Artists, and if they don't produce something that someone else is willing to buy, well, they starve. Good luck with that.

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Judge by outputs, not time spent.

We first had this debate when desktop internet access came in the '90s. My wise old boss, the infrastructure manager back then, held the opinion it was inherently self-limiting. Certainly people could spend all day on dodgy Geocities sites, but it would soon show up in their output. It was a line management issue, and the best managers manage their people by what the achieve, not by the hours they put in.

As for forfeiting pay for the privilege, that does have a curiously "now" feeling about it.

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Stop

Same old, same old

This issue is no different that any other that business' have had to deal within the past ie: personal time on the telephone, extra-long bathroom breaks , inappropriate lunchtimes, etc.

BYOD becomes a business issue when it adversely interferes with the individual's productivity. Reasonable and fairly set workplace productivity standard(s) which have defined & measurable metrics to enforce obviates the need to institute a blackout policy.

The IT security issues are the Gordian knot to deal with and (again) need to be clearly articulated and implemented. They must be SEEN to be fair as well as being actually fair.

My two bits worth at any rate ( as I type this response during my coffee break......)

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Read the small print

I got a new Android phone and went to set up work email on it. All well and good, got the Office365 details and start the process. No problem until I got to the list of things I had to allow the app to do in order to access the system, including but not limited to a factory wipe, preventing use of other IMAP or POP3 services and many more. So I don't have access to work email on my personal phone because I chose not to agree to all of that. I can fully understand why they want to be able to do it, and at least the system is set up so I get asked, rather than have it as a nasty surprise sometime in the future.

At the moment my 'social' stuff at work is done using a virtual machine with a VPN to an external endpoint, so it doesn't interact more than the minimum necessary with the corporate network and I assume that IT are OK with the VPN because they let it through the firewall (nothing in the IT policy says I can't do it). The side benefit is that I bypass any proxy or monitoring they might have in place.

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A couple comments

I haven't seen the original survey, but I get the impression it is not a choice between Use our devices at salary X or bring your own at salary X-Y. I suspect it is a case of, if you have two job offers, everything else being equal, would you take the one with a slightly lower salary if they allowed you to use your device and software of choice instead of having no choice and a slightly higher salary.

I got fed up, myself, when IT changed from a service organization to a dictatorship. Their job should be to help you use what you need to use to do your job, not forcing you to use whatever makes IT's life easier.

My last job, which I got in the days when MS-DOS was the standard, I specified that I would take it if I got a Mac. Eventually everyone got Macs, then some years later everyone was forcibly switched over to leased Windows machines. But, to my Boss's credit, he kept his word and continued to buy me Macs out of his department budget. Given that, I would have responded to the survey that, yes I would take a lower salary in order to use the computer of my choice.

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"We first had this debate when desktop internet access came in the '90s. My wise old boss, the infrastructure manager back then, held the opinion it was inherently self-limiting. Certainly people could spend all day on dodgy Geocities sites, but it would soon show up in their output. It was a line management issue, and the best managers manage their people by what the achieve, not by the hours they put in."

This. Some people now, rather than "gathering around the water cooler", they tweet and so on. If they do it too much, they will be unproductive. As an anecdote of when it's obvious someone's being unproductive, I was unloading some pallets of PCs with some student employees, which took maybe 10 minutes. One or two of the guys stop dead in their tracks like 2 or 3 minutes in, start reading and firing off messages the whole time, while everyone else is moving computers. Almost all the rest of them used their phones too, but after the unloading was done when there was nothing much to do for the next 10 or so minutes. There's an easy to follow etiquette, don't use the phone when you're in the middle of something, and use common sense and moderation.

Taking Victor Vinge's view on these things, I would say some of this usage makes the phone actually count as an external cybernetic enhancement. I've seen a few people that can actually text or whatever and hold a voice conversation at the same time; they are not alternating between speech and typing, they can speak articulately (not just a "Yeah.." or whatever) and type at full speed (at least full speed for a phone keyboard...) at the same time. Some of these people really do find it difficult to deal with being out of contact all day, it's like telling them they can't speak.

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Gee, that's too bad

...because no IT dept in their right mind allows BYOD these days.

Yeah, bunch of meanies right? Who cares about security and all that stuff? Beside, Facebook access is a human right! /sarcasm

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Bollocks, nobody would ever shirk their working responsibilities to tit about on the internet!

Time to read the Reg all morning with a SSH session to my Pi open running cmatrix.

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