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Most of the Indian IT companies, big or small, issue work laptops to their employees, junior or senior. The intention could vary from office to office, viz catering to important and critical issues on the production environment or an option to work from home once in a while. And almost everyone carries it back to their respective homes.

But, I am not in the production support role and I don't intend to carry it home. There are other colleagues too who are not in such roles but carry it back and forth to the office. It is such an onus, literally, on my shoulders. I have to ensure its safety while travelling, at home, rather treat it as a precious object that could be stolen at any time. I cannot be at peace even if I go on a one day vacation. The reasons could be many more. I just do not intend to take the work laptop home.

I was browsing for options online and see that a few companies do provide an option to lock the laptops to the desk.

So, I have a problem and a solution but I wonder how gladly would my management accept it. Because, it is not being implemented at my office. If I state these reasons, I might come across as an irresponsible person who cannot take care of her belongings or as an employee who doesn't want to handle critical issues or whatever might come across their minds.

How do I put it softly in their minds that I do not want the burden of carrying an office laptop to my home?

P.S: Wanted to know if there is anyone working in an Indian office with locker/lock provision for work laptops.

  • 3
    Work property left at work is their problem - you don’t have to take the laptop home - supplying a cupboard or safe storage is for them to do... – Solar Mike Apr 1 at 10:48
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    Hi @SolarMike - you have to be careful with that. The company is setting up an implicit standard that "everyone takes thei laptop home". If one was stolen at the office, the first thing they would say is "Everyone takes laptops home, why didn't you take yours home." This is the whole reason companies do this "home laptop" crap - to put responsibility on the workers. It's a scam. – Fattie Apr 1 at 11:11
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    @Fattie are you assuming that implicit standard - the OP says it varies from office to office... – Solar Mike Apr 1 at 11:17
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    @SolarMike: What other offices do doesn't really matter when this company has set its standard. "They do it at XYZ Company" is not an excuse. At best, it is a justification for bring up the discussion topic with the current company. – Flater Apr 1 at 14:23
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    Absolutely bizarre that anyone would mark this for closing - what a great workplace question. – Fattie Apr 1 at 14:23
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"How do I put it softly in their minds that I do not want the burden of carrying an office laptop to my home?"

Send a polite, but clear, email to HR and others stating that (1) you will never be taking your laptop home and (2) actually asking what to do about security at the office.

So, phrase it as a question.

What about this:

Dear team. Regarding the Asus ROG Strix Hero II serial number 123123321 I was issued yesterday, March 27. I will not be taking it home, so it will always be at the office 365/24. What should we do about security for it? Would you like me to attach a security cable or should I put it somewhere in particular overnight? What is best? Thanks Wonda.

  1. It's always a great communications "trick" to ask a question. It engages the other party, it's polite ... and notice the onus is now on them to address the issue.

  2. You are very wise to never take a company laptop home. In general company laptops are simply a trick to get free work out of you. In most cases, such as your case, there's zero benefit to you. Smart choice.

So, the answer is, raise the issue as a question about security of the device in the office; it's then a fait accompli that you are not taking it home, and, at the same time you are clearly going on record that you will not be taking it home.

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    +1. The only thing I'd add is that if you wanted a softer approach, or you have missed the "I just received my laptop" window (i.e. you've had your laptop for a while and have been following company custom), you might say "I'm going away on holiday and feel that my company laptop would be safer on company premises for the duration, what security measures should I take?". Personally, I doubt my home insurance policy covers company laptops that don't technically belong to me. – Pam Apr 1 at 13:46
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    It's not universally true that there's zero benefit. I have a company laptop, and because I bring it home I may decide that I don't feel like going to the office tomorrow. Or I may take a day of, yet spend an hour in an important meeting. To me, that's a clear benefit. – vidarlo Apr 1 at 17:04
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    @vidarlo , hmm, it sounds like you have the ability to work remotely. That's a great benefit. Many, many folks who (A) get to work remotely, do not (B) get a company laptop. (Indeed, many people who get a company laptop, can not work remotely.) A does not follow from B. – Fattie Apr 1 at 17:34
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    @Fattie Certainly, I'm not arguing that what you say is part of the total. I'm just arguing that it's no universally true that there's zero benefit. – vidarlo Apr 1 at 17:49
  • Also note that it depends on what you were hired to do. My job specifically involves working outside of business hours (for which I am quite fairly compensated), so obviously I have to have a company laptop. – Kevin Apr 1 at 18:07
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There are two things here:

1. Not carrying the laptop home

That's okay, as long as you're not expected to access some work resource for which you might need the laptop, it's perfectly fine not to carry the laptop back home (for safekeeping purpose only). The office should provide an option for safekeeping workplace-related valuables.

2. The safekeeping of the laptop if left in office

Ask your workplace resource team (or, your manager in absence of a WPR team) how to handle this. There should be policies for securing assets while you are away from desk (irrespective of the time period). Inquire about the policies - it'll help you achieve two things:

  • You'll be communicating indirectly that, you are planning to leave the laptop at office.
  • You'll get to know the official security practices which you can follow.

Most likely, the office should have a secure storage facility (a cupboard or a shared storage rack, with lock & key) to keep private things safe. If you have one, as long as you use that facility to store the laptop and related peripherals, it should not be your concern about the further safekeeping (i.e., the safety of the storage system itself).

Alternatively, see if there is an option to request a lock-cable for laptops, it may be available on-demand basis.

That said:

If I state these reasons, I might come across as an irresponsible person who cannot take care of her belongings [...]

Wait, it's office property, you're just allowed to use it. It's not your property and unless being used or carried by you, the safekeeping is not your responsibility.

[...] or as an employee who doesn't want to handle critical issues

As mentioned, that's not your problem to handle this issue, if it's one.

[...] or whatever might come across their minds.

There's no whatever else, this is a very specific thing, and there are specific rules on how to address safety and security concerns for workplace related valuables.

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    how are you @souravghosh - you know, I think OP particularly wants to know "how to tell them" the decision ... – Fattie Apr 1 at 11:12
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    Hello sir, welcome back. I completely agree, however as I see it, OP is hesitant because it seems to OP that this might not sound like a normal / usual request. I'm just helping to clarify that it is a perfectly valid ask and will not portray OP in poor light in any ways. – Sourav Ghosh Apr 1 at 11:18
  • @Fattie cultural differences apply here as well. Sourav's answer goes a bit into that. – Retired Codger Apr 1 at 13:41
  • @Fattie yes, that's what I meant. Sourav is taking it from that cultural perspective. – Retired Codger Apr 1 at 14:39
  • @Fattie ah, sorry, I was confused, and no, I didn't realize you were there. My sincerest apologies for my misunderstanding, and assumptions. – Retired Codger Apr 1 at 15:08
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The company I work for here in the UK asks that we take our laptops home. The stated reason is for business continuity. ie. if there was to be a fire or flood at my usual office, I could still work from home. For me, the transport is easy because I drive and the bag is not that heavy anyway.

There is not (usually) any expectation that I will continue working, or checking emails, at home after I have worked a day in the office, or in the morning before my usual start time. Of course, there are exceptions to this: I might be asked to do overtime, or there really is something that needs my urgent attention. In both cases, I would expect to get paid for this, and there's the bonus that it can make you look good in the eyes of your manager.

Taking my laptop home can also work to my advantage: I might ask to work from home if I need to wait in for a repair service or a delivery, and of course that time is billable to my employer as work. It is pretty easy and not much of a burden.

I might have a different viewpoint, if it was simply a means for my employer to have me available 24/7 and I let it be that; or if my laptop bag was very heavy and I had a long journey by foot and/or public transport.

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