IT Employment

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employee supplied equipment

By mikewbc ·
I just had an employee ask about bringing in a new LCD monitor and adding it to her work machine because the standard monitor took up too much work area on her desk. We are a non-profit most of our desk were not made for computers.

How do you handle this type of request. Being a one person IT department with more than 50 users, I really don't want to get into this. I could see a support nightmare waiting for me if this should happen.

Any comments or suggestions would be helpful

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by LordInfidel In reply to employee supplied equipme ...

a monitor is not bad. It's not such a big support issue since you really don't have to support it.

A computer on the other hand is and should not be allowed, Same with software.

As long as you can't get in trouble legally and they understand that if their monitor breaks your not going to replace or repair it. Then let them.

But that's where you should be drawing the line.

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I Agree

by JackOfAllTech In reply to employee supplied equipme ...

with L/I. As long as the monitor is clearly labelled as non-company and the user understands that it will NOT be supported, tell her OK.


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Labelling not really an issue

by GuruOfDos In reply to I Agree

Surely as a person or a department responsible for managing IT equipment, you should keep logs of all IT equipment, with serial numbers, licence codes and everything else? If you visit a workstation and the items on your scehdule don't match what's on the desk, then you can assume that it's not 'on contract' so to speak.

Where I work, I started as an electronics bench technician. I was issued on day one with a comprehensive electronics tool kit. When I leave the company, I am expected to turn in the toolkit as technically it belongs to the company. Perhaps out of 210 tools, only half are the originals I was issued with. Over time, some break or wear out. I've been there 16 years now so cutters, solder-suckers, soldering irons etc have been replaced many times. Tips shear off screwdrivers, heads work loose on hammers. My contract clearly states that I am responsible for upkeep and maintainence of my tools. If I break my wirecutters, it is up to me to replace them. Yes, the company pays for them, but that's a given. I don't have to replace like for like, and I can add to my kit as necessary or substitute higher (or lower!) quality tools as the need arises. But when I leave the company, I have to turn in 210 tools.

One lad got issued his toolkit, promptly 'hid' it in the bottom of his locker, and brought in his own tools. When he left the company, he took his own tools home, dug the company issue set out of his locker and turned it in...still shrinkwrapped! The proviso was that if he broke his own tools, it was up to him to replace them and the company wouldn't pay. Actually, it did for a few items on the basis that he broke his own tools on a company job...but there is a lot of interpretation in many rules and our company are better than average!

As far as computers are concerned, we operate a similar policy. If someone prefers a trackball to a mouse, but they are issued with a mouse, they have the option to request a trackball and we'll consider the request on it's merits. Alternatively, they can turn in the mouse and supply their own trackball...or keyboard or monitor or whatever, and bring in their own. As long as I am aware of this (I can tell from serial numbers, or just by looking that something isn't company issue!) I have no problems. Just so long as when they leave, the original peripherals are back on the system.

As for software, if a user requires software to do their job, we as a company will provide it. If it's just a 'want' rather than a need, we then ask why the software is necessary. If they can justify the requirement then we consider installing. If not, and it's likely to be a 'timewaster', like a game or whatever, then the answer is always a clear NO!

As for bringing in items from home, beacause of Health and Safety regulations and various workplace requirements, we can only allow complete systems, peripherals or electrical items to be used if they have been tested to comply with electrical safety regulations. There is no requirement for home devices to be tested, but if ANY electrical appliance (or even just a power cord) is brought in from outside the company, it needs to have an electrical test label attached and if it doesn't, we have to test it. At the same time, we log the serial number of the equipment and who owns it so there is no arguement over support and ownership.

One chap brought in a scanner from home. It was part of a PC, printer and scanner bundle bought from a retail store. He had no use for it at home but occasionally needed to scan items at work. Rather than going into the next office and using the scanner there, he provided his own. I had no problem with that whatsoever. But, when his workstation was 'downgraded' from W98 to XP, the scanner no longer worked. Company policy would have been to not support the scanner, but out of the goodness of my heart, I did. Purely because it was cheaper (looking at the bigger picture) to spend ten minutes downloading XP drivers and setting it up again compared with interrupting another persons productivity when he had to 'borrow' a computer with a scanner for a few minutes here and there, thereby interrupting another worker!

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It boils down to picking your fights

by LordInfidel In reply to Labelling not really an i ...

When we allow stuff like that, users being able to put a personal touch to their equipment, it makes us look more human and fair.

That allows us to pick our fights and stand our ground when they want to do things that clearly violate policy.

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Amen to that!

by GuruOfDos In reply to It boils down to picking ...

And if anybody at the office wants to pick a fight with ME over policy, I'll whack them round the back of the head with their own peripherals instead of company ones! LOL

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by wordworker In reply to employee supplied equipme ...

I have a consulting client with an entire TEAM of people who have brought in their own CPUs, monitors, and printers!!! Why? Because the part-time internal IT person never responded to their requests for more equipment, unilaterally deciding that they 'didn't need anything else.' Holy HIPAA violations they even have patient-confidential information on those employee-owned boxes. My first order of business as the new on-call CIO/IT director? Get those personal machines OUTTA THERE!

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