Employees often have to juggle their work’s demands on their cellphone with personal phone use. Using a single phone for both purposes means giving your company’s IT staff access to your personal photos and data
— but using separate phones means keeping two phones charged and accessible. Bring your own device (BYOD) schemes solve these problems by setting up separate operating environments within your phone for your work and personal apps. Discover how several features are making Google’s Android for Work app a favorite BYOD solution.
Android Operating System
Most of the “dual-persona” systems available to business phone users have used obscure operating systems. Android for Work is a winner with employees because the Android platform is familiar and is compatible with a variety of apps and add-ons. Your staffers will love not having to learn a new system or buy a new phone to use business and personal functions side by side.
A Separate System
Android for Work creates two separate compartments within the phone — one for work use and one for personal use. The user sets up a dedicated profile for work and a separate one for personal use that so the company’s IT department can manage system upgrades and necessary troubleshooting without being granted access to a user’s personal apps and data.
As a result, employees don’t have to worry that someone at work will see their personal photos and emails. These separate setups also mean that they don’t have to worry that their photos might accidentally be deleted by an IT tech.
Secure Your Company Data
Keeping company data secure is a challenge for most companies. Placing the employee’s work apps in a separate, secure environment means that employees can download and use third-party apps on the personal side of their phone without fear of infecting or exposing their work-related information.
Keep Up With Progress
Android for Work is well supported by Google. The latest version, Android 6.0 Marshmallow, brings a flurry of new features. Users can track the amount of data used by work apps, for example, so that companies can more easily reimburse employees for the business use of their phones. IT managers can set up some apps to automatically update or access certificates using a “silent” option that doesn’t need the user’s approval. As a result, employees won’t accidentally deny necessary updates or certificates.
Admins can set up noneditable Wi-Fi configurations and silently install or uninstall apps. To use these features, you’ll need to be running the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow operating system on a smartphone such as the powerful LG G5 or another up-to-date Android-based phone.
Convenience for the User
One of the best features of Android for Work is its interface. Users aren’t required to switch back and forth between work and personal profiles. Two sets of apps can live side by side on the home screen, with a red briefcase denoting which apps contain the work data. Notifications also come in together, with the red briefcase badge marking the business messages.
Protection From Errors
When you use a share button, you’ll be prompted to choose which profile you want to use — business or personal. You won’t have to worry that you might embarrass yourself by posting your personal photos to your work accounts.
A checkbox lets you turn off copy and pasting across profiles so that you don’t accidentally paste that hilarious joke about your boss from your personal Facebook to your work email. Password requirements and forced encryption are also built-in features.
Although Android for Work includes a firewall between the business and personal apps, Google is infamous for not letting users control how and where their data gets stored, and some people in the security industry have doubts about the platform. For now, Google is targeting companies with only moderate security needs. If your company handles sensitive financial, military, or HIPAA-protected records, you may need to wait for a more secure version of the software.
Business owners and employees alike are generally thrilled with this solution, however, which blends convenience with security and allows IT to control the company side of the phone while the user controls the personal side.