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I'm in a company that let me choose between a corporate, or a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) laptop. The laptop is my main work tool (web development).

I am keen on using my own laptop, however, I expect the company to contribute to the cost of using such laptop: upgrading SSD/ram, buying new peripherals, and, after some years, buying a new device.

The problem is that these operation costs would vary a lot from one year to the other, what makes uneasy to find the actual average annual cost.

How to estimate a fair compensation for BYOD laptop?

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    A thing to think about; if you left the company, would they expect you to return the upgrades or pay them back for their contributions? – user34587 Nov 29 '18 at 9:36
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    Why would you expect the company to contribute to the cost of the use? They might add something into your wages as a one off payment when you decide to buy a new laptop, but I doubt they'll consider running/upgrade costs. – Stese Nov 29 '18 at 9:44
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    The cost saving of them not buying equipment is often offset by the staff cost of supporting a myriad of devices on their systems, and the problems that causes. I've worked in mixed environments before, and we've never paid a user to use their kit. (BYOD isn't a good idea in my opinion anyway... but that is irrelevant here) – Stese Nov 29 '18 at 9:59
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    @Stese Interesting — I'm indeed not so familiar with BYOD. So you're telling me the choice I have is either the company paying me a laptop, or the "opportunity" to use my own, for free? – ebosi Nov 29 '18 at 10:01
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    @ebosi you're not sparing them the cost of buying/maintaining/replacing a company laptop if you're expecting them to pay for the upgrades to your own machine - they're just paying the same money for a device they don't own in the end. – Erik Nov 29 '18 at 10:02
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I have had a company pay part of the monthly cell phone bill, because we do use our personal phone when on travel or when working from home.

I have not known a company that paid significant amount of money for the employee to use their own computer. If they are paying you to purchase upgrades they will went those upgraded pieces of equipment returned, or you to refund some or all of the money.

For the employee BYOD involves some obligations and risks:

  • If your personal machine breaks they expect you to fix it immediately, because normally their IT department would have a spare while your machine is getting repaired. You are agreeing to be your own IT department with spares available.
  • They may dictate specific versions of anti-virus software, that way they know it is kept updated.
  • If there is a data spill they may have the right to re-image your machine. I have known them to do this with phones that could access the company email.
  • The end of employment period becomes much more complex to make sure that all company data is transferred back to the company.
  • There may be a mixing of work or non-work documents that end up being backed up by their systems.

For the company BYOD also brings challenges:

  • Different hardware and software versions (windows vs Mac vs Linux)
  • Making sure all machines are updated. (OS, Office, other tools)
  • Making sure that these machines bouncing between different networks don't introduce more problems.

All this means that the company may not see a need to pay you for upgrades or because you decide to use your own device; and you may decide the loss of privacy may not be worth the money they might pay you.

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    All true. It's an incredibly bad idea to BYOD, OP should reconsider. – Fattie Nov 29 '18 at 12:37
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    Additionally, the BYOD device will probably need to conform to whatever security policy is in place. As such, assume that all of your personal data and internet activity will be tracked and recorded. It probably won't be, but it makes sense to work under that assumption. – user44108 Nov 29 '18 at 12:52
  • PArt of that is that the monthly contribution to an average laptop is single digit to s tart with. It is not significant. 1000 USD over 5 years is 200 USD per year (and 1000 USD is a middle size low end laptop you need for this). That is 16.6USD per month TOTAL Sure, gaming laptops are more expensive, as is my Surface - but that is not what you need for web deveopment. – TomTom Nov 29 '18 at 18:08
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If they allow you to use your own device, they might also have a policy for compensation. Just ask to your manager or whoever takes care of this type of things.

As a side note; if I were you, I'd just use company device if there isn't a compensation policy. I wouldn't want to give a negative first impression as a newcomer.

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I don't know of any company that pays their employees for using their own laptops.

Normally, if you feel that your own laptop needs upgrades in order to be work-worthy, then you would just leave it at home and use company-issued devices.

In a few cases, a company might purchase a docking station, keyboard, monitor, etc. that would help you use your own devices while in the office. In all of those cases, the company would normally own all the additional equipment.

But when in doubt, ask your boss.

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