Pros and Cons of Buying Your Employees Company Laptops
With more and more companies shifting their employee’s positions to a fully remote or hybrid method of working, flexibility and mobility have never been more important. However, desktops rarely allow the portability employees need to make this transition and create their own work-from-home routine. Laptop computers and tablets are becoming essentials for employees who work remotely or balance their time between the office and other locations.
In fact, Upwork recently performed a survey that confirmed that out of 1,000 small business owners, 41.8% are still working remotely in 2021. Most people who work from home prefer working on laptops because it allows them the online access they need to do their jobs from anywhere. The decision to purchase company laptops for employees is a huge investment, so is it worth the cost? In positions like this, companies may need to weigh the pros and cons to confirm their choice to stick with desktops or gravitate towards giving every employee a laptop.
Let’s review the positive and negative factors of buying company laptops for everyone before making a decision!
Company Laptops Pros
No one wants to carry a giant desktop computer back and forth from the office, especially if the company is starting a new hybrid WFH schedule. With more people working remotely, many companies are contemplating the decision to trade employees’ desktops in for laptops to reduce the security and damage risk of company property being taken out of the office. From the portability to support access, privacy and productivity, IT and employees can all agree that there are plenty of positive reasons to switch from desktops to laptops at work.
The small, portable features of a laptop make it the perfect device to travel with, whether that means around the office or at home. Most small devices will fit in a briefcase or backpack — and its tiny features make it easy to prop up on any flat surface, like a coffee table. A desktop needs a larger surface like a legitimate desk and is not as easy to move. Plus, a laptop’s battery life means you don’t need to keep it constantly plugged in, unlike a desktop, which requires constant access to an outlet.
Along with physical mobility, one of the benefits of using a laptop for business is access to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. It’s easy to connect anywhere with a laptop, hook up to the internet and start working. This accessibility makes having laptops ideal for employees who work off-site or travel back and forth from the office daily. Laptops give employees access to files, emails and other important documents during fire drill situations or tight deadlines even when they’re at home or away from their office desk.
Increase in Productivity
Laptops also make office productivity more efficient. For example, instead of huddling around a desktop screen, an employee can pick up a laptop and carry it over to another coworker’s desk for a quick discussion and show them anything in real-time. As a result, this saves on the amount of paper being printed in the office because they have access to their smaller, portable screen — or they can electronically send their documents away from their desk. They can also use this ability to share presentations during meetings by connecting their laptops to HDMI cords or docking stations located in a conference room, which will reduce the usual wait time it takes to load everything during the beginning of meetings. Plus, setting up charging towers around the office makes it easier for employees to fully charge their laptops before bringing them on the go.
Laptop computers make it easier to perform tasks around the office and at home, too. Employees can stay connected to their files and communicate with their team without wasting time re-downloading documents and logging into their accounts. They can join meetings, share files and continue their daily tasks as if they never left the office.
The small but mighty laptop comes with everything you need to be productive, all in one simple purchase. The device includes everything, so there’s no need for IT to hand out extra computer accessories like keyboards, computer mouses, ethernet cords, or extra chargers. Desktops require more add-ons depending on the company and what they require from certain employees. For example, a design team could greatly benefit from a touch screen laptop so they can easily manipulate images and graphics with just a touch. A desktop with no touch screen and a mouse makes the design process more difficult.
If a company does decide to switch to laptops, the IT team only needs to ensure that everyone is equipped with the proper programs and software. After a quick download onto their laptops, employees can have the same access to all their programs and servers as they do on a normal desktop computer. This minimal setup doesn’t even require the laptop to be connected to any large towers or extra wires — which makes the transition quick, simple, and stress-free for everyone involved.
On the topic of IT, a company’s team can easily support and assist issues with laptops — especially if they’re all the same. IT will understand the system in place and know how to fix the issue quicker than someone who brings in their personal laptop. Employees who are connected to the company’s servers can have IT work on their computers from anywhere — in the office, at home, or on-site somewhere else. So, instead of an employee opening up a help desk ticket and waiting for IT to visit their desk at the office, the IT can work in real-time to access a laptop remotely or have the employee physically bring their laptop to the IT department. Just eliminating the back and forth between desks will help IT work more efficiently and with less stress.
If there’s a more serious problem with an employee’s laptop, charging towers make it easy for the employee to drop off their device and pick up another one. This no-contact solution is designed to reduce or eliminate unnecessary contact during cold and flu seasons or busy hours for the IT team. Employees won’t need to wait for their laptop to be fixed — they can just pick up another one with the same functions, sign into their private company account, and start working in no time.
There’s an added sense of security that comes with giving employees their own company laptops to work on. Companies who provide computers avoid the issue of their employees bringing their own private devices. Connecting personal laptops to company servers could lead to security issues like data breaches and hacks. Giving every employee a company laptop ensures the right security measures are taken.
From another perspective, employees also gain their own privacy by having their own laptops. Of course, they’re responsible for caring for their computer, but they can take the device anywhere they feel comfortable working — at home, in a coffee shop or even on the road. The freedom of a laptop allows them to stay signed in on important accounts and websites without the risk of a security breach. Ultimately, having this type of access saves them time because the computer can remember their passwords and credentials without them needing to sign in every time.
Company Laptops Cons
As with anything, laptops come with their own challenges. Although most companies function with very few issues on a day-to-day basis, portable devices may not be the best option or the right fit for some businesses. Keep the decision balanced by reviewing the minor cons of buying laptops for all employees before coming to a conclusion.
Laptops are traditionally built with smaller screens to make them easier to carry around. However, some employees who rely on larger screens to view documents or work with design programs can find the smaller screen tricky to navigate. Bigger screens may be beneficial to some employees who need to pay attention to details or scroll through long lists of data or coding.
If laptops are still the best choice, there are plenty of ways to give employees the screen space they need. Laptop docks can be purchased for people who want to transfer their files and browsers to a bigger screen — some may even offer the option to use both screens at once. Otherwise, it may work in the company’s favor to purchase larger desktop screens for the employee who needs a bigger space to perform their daily tasks.
Smaller devices may be easier to travel with but their thin, fragile design makes them even easier to damage than a desktop. Internal and external parts may be more difficult to find for laptops because of their size. Whether it’s a broken screen or an issue with the hard drive, custom parts may need to be shipped from all over the world to fix one problem. The challenge of fixing a broken laptop may come with extra expenses that companies don’t budget for when purchasing devices for everyone. For this reason, relying on a charging tower will help ensure all laptops are looked after and cared for. If there is a problem, a daily assessment of the devices can log any damages and fix them before the problem worsens.
When it comes to working with laptops, the productivity is only as good as the Wi-Fi connection. Employees must have a reliable internet connection wherever they choose to work — daily issues without a strong connection could result in missing deadlines or errors in shared files. Many newer laptops do not come with ethernet ports because people believe their internet connection will be strong enough to withstand their workload and server connection. However, if for some reason there is a Wi-Fi issue, the employee will not have a backup to access some of their laptop’s functions like internet and email.
With a desktop, there will always be an option available to plug into an ethernet cord. If laptops still seem like the best option for a company, there are viable options for adaption. Ethernet port adapters are available — this device will plug into the USB port on your laptop and allow you to connect to the Wi-Fi manually.
It’s not always easy to trust employees with laptops. Once they leave the office with a laptop, there’s a higher risk that it could get lost or stolen at any time. This is a risk companies rarely face by offering desktops — they’re just too big. The lightweight, sleek designs of laptops may seem convenient for working on the go, but employees need to be responsible enough to keep track of their smaller laptop computers, especially in public places.
Companies who collect private information for clients or house important data can see laptops are a liability. If someone were to steal an employee’s laptop, it would be a breach of the company’s security. This risk is too large for some companies to take. However, there is a solution to this con. Track the whereabouts of company laptops by asking employees to sign their devices in and out while housing them in a charging tower. A log will help everyone keep track of the inventory of laptops available throughout the day — although employees still need to be responsible for their devices outside the office, this method will encourage them to keep an extra eye on company property.
Overall, replacement parts, adaptors, extra screens, and stronger security software programs add up the price of a laptop. It may be an all-in-one purchase, but if a laptop needs to be fixed or replaced, it quickly becomes the pricier option. Whether it’s shipping specific parts from across the world or buying larger screens for a specific team in the company, laptops can start to look like the less favored option. After reflecting on all the care and responsibility that goes into caring for a laptop, you need to decide if the pros outweigh the cons in your individual situation.
Save Time and Space with PowerGistics
After reflecting on the pros and cons of how providing laptops for everyone influences employee responsibility, IT care and company budget, it’s time to make a decision. A crucial action point needed when making the transition from desktops to laptops is tracking how many are away from the company’s property at any given moment. Let PowerGistics help you save time and space with their innovative charging towers. Store all unused laptops horizontally in the slots of the Tower and keep them charged until an employee needs to sign it out and take it on the go. Employees can maximize their time by having their laptops up and running in no time. The Towers include wireless update capabilities, so employees don’t have to waste their time during the day. No more messy wires and lost devices — employees can safely store their laptops, tablets and cell phones inside the Tower and keep charges without giving up their own charger.
Whether employees are working from home or in the office, everyone needs a place to put their laptops. Let PowerGistics help you organize your company laptop system to create high-quality work in and out of the office.