Personal Responsibility Vital to Digital Workplace: #TChat Recap

If only lie detector tests were legal. At least that was one sentiment from last night’s #TChat about the digital workplace and the responsibility of both business leaders and the employees that work for them.

So wait, what about the lie detector tests? This issue lies in how personally responsible we are in the workplace when it comes to all things social and mobile. Used to be that companies only entrusted hardware and software “technology” to the business executives — like cell phones (20 pounders if you remember the 80’s) computers, e-mail, intranet (pre-internet), and even the old-school landline phones.

Admins and front-line minions just didn’t have the discipline, self-awareness or impulse control to use these tools. Good God, they would just start calling and writing their families and friends and never get any work done. Thank goodness we survived that, as well as navigating the latest iteration of the digital workplace.

Now, we’re dealing with personal responsibility of both execs and employees. And how to manage the digital world effectively in both our business and personal worlds. And whether or not our companies provide us our technology–computers, laptops, tablets, smart phones. And whether or not leadership should allow us to use social technologies and access social sites in the workplace.

According to a recent San Jose Mercury News article:

A Cisco survey of 2,853 adults younger than 30 last year found 70 percent preferred to use a work device of their own choosing. And among those in college, 81 percent expressed that preference.

Companies are coming around to allowing this choice as opposed to forcing employees to use separate work-specific devices and their own personal devices. Then again, according to the article:

Recent research by McAfee and the National Cyber Security Alliance has found that nearly three out of four adults fail to protect their smartphones with security software. Moreover, people often use their phones, tablets and laptops to frequent social media or other websites that tend to attract cybercrooks. Consequently, many business executives aren’t keen on the idea of letting their employees use such devices for work.

In another study this year by Check Point Software Technologies of Redwood City, 65 percent of 768 information technology professionals contacted allowed employee-owned gadgets to connect with their corporate networks. But 71 percent blamed such mobile devices — both personal and company-provided — for contributing to “increased security incidents,” such as risky Web browsing and “corrupt applications downloaded.”

Whether working for small firms or being a solopreneur, it’s always been a mix of work-sanctioned and purchased (and written off) equipment and services, as well as personal equipment and services–some of which is picked up by work when work-related. Security has never really been an issue for me and my colleagues, but as you can see above, it certainly can be (and is). Thankfully, whatever device is tethered to the mothership can be wiped and severed.

That’s still a lot of “work,” you know. You know what else is a lot of work? Managing your time while your social and mobile work manages you. Unfortunately, if lie detector tests were legal, they wouldn’t really help the root cause.

If you could screen for the “personal responsibility” gene, though? Then we’re talking about something. On our mobile devices. In our digital workplaces.

Thank you to everyone who joined us last night! If you missed Meghan’s preview post, you can read it here. Join us next week when we discuss Employee Super Powers. Is there an assessment for that? We’ll find out Wednesday, February 22 at 7p ET, 6p CT, 4p PT, or wherever you are.

Photo by jisc_infonet.