Media articles have this week claimed that the tax regime in the UK will make employer-subsidised BYOD policy models an unfeasible proposition for businesses, but Marcus Jewell, UK Country Manager at Brocade, says that there are several factors that will yet see BYOD yield substantial long-term benefits.
“It may well be the case that the BYOD phenomenon is being driven mainly by senior executives with the money and seniority to ignore security concerns, rather than by increasingly tech-savvy workforces and economising IT managers. But this will not be the case for long,” suggests Jewell.
“Salary sacrifice benefit schemes will allow employees to buy their own mobile device for mixed personal and work use. This would not be seen as a taxable benefit for either employer or employee; the system would function just like the popular Cycle to Work bike purchase scheme. The idea that BYOD will become prohibitively expensive due to increasing tax liabilities is a myth,” he said.
Jewell believes that there are several other reasons why BYOD will become an attractive option for businesses: “First, BYOD will make employees happier and more productive: employees who are able to transfer their personal IT preferences into the workplace have greater familiarity, comfort, and satisfaction using their devices, and get more done.
“BYOD can reduce the strain on IT service desks, as employees are likely to take better care of their own property than they would of a company-issue device. They are also more likely to make the effort to fix problems with their own devices themselves, being more confident about how they work,” said Jewell.
He continued: “Finally, BYOD will benefit businesses from an HR perspective: with companies vying to recruit and retain the best talent, the ones that offer employees the flexibility to use their personal mobile devices for work purposes will put themselves in a much stronger position.”
Jewell concluded: “The salary sacrifice scheme will ensure that BYOD remains an economically viable option, but the government could be doing more – perhaps through tax breaks – to incentivise businesses to get on board and help them release the full potential of BYOD in the long term.”