UK employers are global leaders in flexible working and secure BYOD policies


The UK’s small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) lead the world in flexible working and ensuring staff work securely in the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) era, with 34 per cent saying they have policies, procedures and/or IT systems in place to manage the use of personal communications devices for business purposes. This compares to an average of 28 per cent in Europe and the rest of the world, and only 19 per cent in the US. This is not before time, as the global survey by YouGov of senior executives and managers in more than 1,250 small and medium businesses across Europe, North America and Australia on behalf of Citrix, found that nearly half of UK employees now routinely use personal devices at work.

The need for a dedicated security strategy was underlined by the fact that as many as 47 per cent of respondents surveyed in the UK said their employees are already using their personal devices for work. This is further emphasised by 55 per cent of senior directors and managers saying they rely on smart phones compared to 54 per cent who selected PCs and 52 per cent laptops.

“In encouraging mobile, flexible working, it is good to see the UK taking the lead in putting security policies in place,” said Robert Gratzl, managing director, VP and GM EMEA, online services division at Citrix. “They are rightly anxious about their firms’ potential exposure, with particular concerns around remote network access and document downloads, for example.

“However, like other countries, they still have some way to go, with almost two-thirds possibly lacking the tools and processes to automatically delete business information from employees’ personal devices if, for example, they are lost or stolen.”

Almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of respondents who say staff are allowed to use their own devices are now achieving measurable productivity and efficiency gains as a result of adopting personal devices and consumer-focused tools in the workplace

Other findings revealed that globally, among those surveyed, employees are most commonly cited as a source of pressure for change (29 per cent), ahead of external drivers such as competitors (27 per cent), regulation (14 per cent) or the environment (8 per cent). 42 per cent of SMB managers stated that using a single device for all purposes makes employees’ lives easier is a reason why staff in their organisation use/want to use personal devices.

This compares to 21 per cent who point to the greater functionality of consumer-focused devices and just 13 per cent to their greater flexibility.

Click here to view an infographic of the findings