Companies Ask Workers to "BYOT"

An increasing number of companies are asking employees to bring their own smartphones to work, pulling back from the standard practice of procuring and assigning company-owned equipment.

Executives discussing their companies’ plans for managing fleets of smartphones, laptops, tablets and other mobile devices at a technology conference in Palm Desert, Calif. this week said they are either testing or implementing policies for having employees bring their own technology, and then reimbursing them for part or all of the associated costs.

Kevin Summers, the chief information officer at Whirlpool, said that, eventually, the appliance-maker expects 60 percent of such equipment to be employee-owned.

Some, like insurance company USAA, will provide employees with stipends to cover their expenses, with any overages being the employees’ responsibility, while others, like pharmaceutical research company PPDI, will allow employees to charge a portion of their expenses back to the company. Brad Wright, vice president of global communications technology for international engineering firm Jacobs, told Digits during a break at the conference that his firm gave employees a one-time raise to cover the cost of acquiring this equipment.

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