BYOD? Start here: A draft reimbursement policy for mobile users

Many companies still struggle with reimbursement and access policies for employees on the go

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It's one of the most frequent questions I get at conferences: How to manage all those users who want to -- or simply do -- use mobile devices and want that work usage reimbursed. This question usually comes up in the context of BYOD, but of course can also be raised in terms of company-provided devices -- meaning "Who gets those in the first place?"

Although every company has its own requirements, employee-enablement bias, and context, there are core, equitable principles that every company can start from and modify for their own needs and culture. What follows is my proposed draft policy based on these principles. As you begin a new year, now is a good time to (re)think your own policies around mobile and remote-access reimbursements and, of course, permissions.

Principles

The company's business units have different patterns and mixes of employee communications and information access. Thus, a flexible approach is needed that lets each business unit optimize its use of mobile devices for communications, information access, and systems access. But so is consistency in the framework governing how money is spent on such tools, so employees whose roles are similar are treated similarly.

In applying this policy, there are two key decisions for the department head to make that determine which policy section applies to each employee:

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