Bring Your Laptop to Work

Last month, Dick Kusleika, at Daily Dose of Excel, said, "Get the same laptop at work that you have at home. I liked my D810 so much that when I started a new job I got a virtually identical machine. Now that my personal D810 is at Dell getting fixed, I can use my work laptop by just swapping hard drives."

They're using a similar idea at Citrix, where employees can buy their own laptop and maintenance plan, then use it at work, as well as home. The company provides $2100 for the purchase, but if employees leave within three years they'll have to repay some of the money. Maintenance will be the employee's responsibility.

What's the advantage?

Why would you want to buy your own computer and use it at work?

I guess it's a nice perk if you can't afford your own computer at home, since you'd own this one after three years. Maybe the policies on what you can install are less strict than usual IT policies, so you can have games or other personal favourites on the machine.

What happens when it's broken though? Do you use a sick day to take it to the repair shop?

Given the option, I'd leave the laptop in the company's hands, assuming I could take it home when necessary. Life's complicated enough, without having to be my own IT department.

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5 Responses

  1. Ken Puls says:

    I’m fortunate, I guess. Being the IT guy at work, the company bought my laptop which I use at work and at home. This was seen as fair since I have to support the company remotely should something happen.

    For me the big advantage is that I don’t have to buy my own machine, and it will get upgraded in our regular refresh cycle. Personally, I’m not afraid of being my own IT department, though, as I’m already that anyway. :)

    With regards to it breaking, I try to do most of my maintenance outside of business hours.

  2. Jason Morin says:

    From a user perspective, I like the “buy-your-own-PC” idea. Here’s why:

    1) Our company locks down our PCs pretty tightly.; I can’t install any apps on my own. Usually I email our help desk and provide them the business reason for needing a certain app (this happens about once per month). Once approved, they install it remotely for me. This process eats up valuable time.

    2) They also “block” certain websites deemed inappropriate for work, like on-line gambling. This is understandable but often times harmless sites get caught in the filter. This, again, slows me down and I have to start the entire “please-grant-me-access-to-this-website” process.

    In some cases they just say no so I have to bypass them and use my home PC to make things happen with my projects. For instance, they refuse to allow me access to Zamzar that I’ve used in the past to convert files.

    3) They follow the “one-size-fits-all” methodology for hardware specs. But analysts in our group process a lot of data so they need the extra horsepower in their laptops. I always ask to review the PC hardware specs for any new employees in our group before the PC gets ordered.

  3. Jason Morin says:

    To sum up, I think the advantage is better productivity for employees. From the company’s point-of-view, I can definitely see the cost savings in reducing the help desk support.

    However, when you think about corporate security, there’s much more risk that an employee could accidently infect their PC and introduce a virus or other malicious program into their corporate network.

    I’d like to know how Citrix approaches this with user-controlled PCs. As I stated earlier, my company treats all PCs like Fort Knox to prevent this from happening.

  4. Thanks Ken, I’ve heard some of your IT support stories, and you’ve earned that laptop!
    Jason, thanks for your detailed comments. I wonder about security for the home/office laptops at Citrix too. If they lock them down, it would create the same productivity blocks that are hampering you.

  5. sudha says:

    To sum up, I think the advantage is better productivity for employees. From the company’s point-of-view, I can definitely see the cost savings in reducing the help desk support.

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