I'm a CAD drafter. We have quotas of drawings to get done each day, usually 5/day with the correct forms attached with them. Each one would regularly take around 1.5-2 hours at a normal pace, so to work better I've:

  1. Brought in my own keyboard and mouse, which aside from being much more comfortable, has lots of macro buttons I've assigned to functions in AutoCAD.
  2. Written a Powershell script to download all the files I need for each drawing/project, organize them, and zip/upload them when I'm done.
  3. Brought in a second monitor since my company won't provide them.

So for the past two weeks, I've worked faster than everyone else in my department and earned the weekly $200 bonus both times. Some of my coworkers have said it's unfair that I "paid to win" by bringing in my own equipment they don't also own, or that it was "cheating" for me to automate stuff like this. I've offered to help them set up macros and use my script, but so far no one has - they genuinely think it's cheating, and some people have warned me to stop before I get fired for it.

Would it be better to just stop all this and go back to working like everyone else to keep morale up?

  • 1
    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Neo
    Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 14:37
  • 2
    There are a couple of close votes on this and I think that can be fixed by simply editing the final question to be, "How can I do my work without negatively affecting the morale of my co-workers?" That's the question most people are answering anyway and at worst the only edits the answers would need is removing a quotation of the original question.
    – BSMP
    Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 17:21
  • 7
    Please can you clarify in your question if there are IT-related rules at your employer about Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) or that your sort and received permission to bring in this extra equipment? Many places would not be OK with it and you breaking a rule to facilitate an advantage over others (and being allowed to get away with it) is a different issue to you having the means and knowledge to do so. Both could cause friction for different reasons and need different solutions.
    – TafT
    Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 8:57
  • 10
    Is the $200 bonus for the worker who gets the most done? Or is for any worker who hits a weekly threshold? Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 14:43
  • "it was "cheating" for me to automate stuff". Looks like your colleagues have become aware of r/outside.
    – Shoreline
    Commented Apr 28, 2021 at 16:06

16 Answers 16


Talk to your manager/boss. Explain to them the ways you've improved your output and how that could be applied to your colleagues (like you've done in the post).

From there, your manager will either appreciate your improved methods or they will be indifferent about them (I strongly doubt they will dislike your methods). If they appreciate them, they may even help get yourself and the rest of your colleagues better equipment so your colleagues can be using the same equipment you are.

Regardless, your manager knowing that you are doing better work because of your own initiative is important and should stick out as a major positive to your manager. I can't see any reason why this would even remotely result in you being fired unless there are some sort of VERY SERIOUS restrictions against automating functions of your job (again, incredibly unlikely). Seems like the others trying to scare you into submission.

My recommendation is to continue what you're doing, keep offering to help colleagues, and keep your manager informed on how your making the process more efficient. If your co-workers continue to be mad, it's likely because they just don't want to learn your new methods or they're worried it will make part or all of their job obsolete. That's not your problem, that's theirs.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Neo
    Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 11:56

Sometimes it helps to step back and look outside the box. Most people on stackexchange are white collar workers, and quite a few are white collar workers in the tech industry. The OP is not a white collar worker. The OP is a tradesperson in what is basically a blue-collar job. They are being paid in a way that is similar to what people in the working class have traditionally referred to as piece work. The superficial structures that the OP describes are those of an hourly worker, but the reality seems to be more like piece work, or some ad hoc attempt to reconcile the social forms of hourly work with those of piece work.

In the classic trope of the factory floor, there is what's known as the "speed up," in which management simply turns up the speed of the conveyor belt, and workers have to comply.

In a lot of blue-collar workplaces, there is also the concept of the new guy who shows up and works faster than everyone else. Often this new guy is younger, better educated, comes from a different social class -- and will quit this job and move on in two months.

From the point of view of the OP's coworkers, the OP is a threat. The OP wants to make them all work faster, because the OP has tech-worker skills that make this possible. The OP will be in this job for a couple of months, then leave for greener pastures. Meanwhile, management will have come to expect higher output.

My suggestion to the OP would be to recognize that this kind of thing may be going on, relate to their coworkers on that basis, and not focus on the $200/week bonus, which is an ephemeral thing.

  • 27
    This answer would be stronger if you just cut the first paragraph. Some of the claims are debated (computer aided design work is blue collar??) and the facts that there's a quota + coworkers oppose better efficiency shows that it is not piece work. If it was, they'd jump at the chance to be able to earn more money for the same hours.
    – Mars
    Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 1:02
  • 44
    I donʼt understand the last sentence, it seems nonsensical. I have a decently paid job as a software engineer but a 200 USD/week bonus would still be a substantial salary raise for me. For a lower paid job it could easily account for more than a third of the total salary. What does “ephemeral” even mean here? Itʼs solid money, itʼs nothing to sneeze at, and one would be a fool to needlessly give it up. Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 10:21
  • 8
    @KonradRudolph Ephemeral in this context means short term gain. Yeah $200 a week is great. But what will happen in 6 months. Incentive programs will go away (that's why they are not base pay) and output will be expected to stay high. This is the point being made here. Long term vs short term view Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 10:51
  • 5
    Also if 'macros, etc' were easy and obvious for everyone then programmers would be low paid entry-level positions. Programmers in the US often now get $150,000+ per annum so we have impirical evidence that isn't the case. It's hard for us all to see what is easy for us is mystery for others. Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 10:53
  • 4
    @MichaelDurrant "But what will happen in 6 months..." Even if it were to happen, how is this a problem for the OP? He can clearly keep up with himself, since he's getting that productivity sustainably by simply using better techniques. If it becomes a problem for the others, because they want to be stuck in the stone age bashing rocks together rather than learning how to fuel the rock crusher, it's not his fault.
    – Demonblack
    Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 13:42

Your colleagues would very likely have no problem at all if it wasn't for the weekly bonus based on output. Whoever instituted it clearly had no idea of the friction it would create in the department or the likelihood that people would try to game it. (Not that I think that's what you're doing, but the risk is there that your colleagues will cut corners to keep up with you)

I would suggest the best way to proceed is to ask your manager to rework the bonus system so that if the department exceeds its overall goal, everyone benefits. It's still not an ideal solution but at least it stops you being the "bad guy" for doing a good job. And clarify with him exactly how they see you. It's a rather different, and significantly more dysfunctional, situation if he wants you to hold back on your work in order to keep the peace.

  • 8
    "...ask your manager to rework the bonus system..." it's a system already in place and working as intended (back to the assembly lines). Any manager will provide a second monitor and a better keyboard to everyone and et voilà, back to the game with the bar slightly higher. Commented Oct 16, 2019 at 17:15
  • 3
    A weekly bonus can be a good performance incentive, so long as winning is mostly about luck, and everyone thinks they have a fair chance of winning. That's how bonuses for sales targets work - somebody gets lucky and serves the customer who wants to splash out $$$ on a once-in-a-lifetime purchase. But most of what the OP did is simply "investing some money up front to buy a weekly pay rise", and that's pretty close to "bribery."
    – alephzero
    Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 0:46
  • 41
    @alephzero You're accusing the OP of being "close to bribery"? Do you have any idea how ridiculous you sound? They found a way to perform better and are being rewarded for it according to pre-existing rules. In what world would that be considered anything remotely close to "bribery"? Do you know what the word "bribery" means?
    – user76284
    Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 3:10
  • 17
    @alephzero How is a bonus based on luck an incentive? An incentive has to be directed towards something people can control. And who is bribing whom? If you're describing giving money to people in exchange for them helping a business as "bribery" ... that's the very definition of "employment". Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 5:27
  • 3
    "A weekly bonus can be a good performance incentive, so long as winning is mostly about luck, and everyone thinks they have a fair chance of winning." But this is a target bonus. Target bonuses are not lotteries; they are explicitly there to incentivize efficient working. "... and that's pretty close to "bribery."" This couldn't be further from the truth. OP did the legwork (it is not just about the money put down) to make their workflow the most efficient. OP played by the rules of the scheme and won because they improved their methodology. I do this in my workplace without a bonus. Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 8:14

This is wrong setup and you are not at fault at all.

You've come beyond the scope of your job description by improving the workflow and offering the solution to your peers. Don't anybody let you lesser your work and/or change your attitude.

Among the other answers I'd recommend you discussing the issue your superiors.

  • tell them what are the consequences of the $200 weekly challenge.
  • suggest them changing the rewards from Winner takes it all to, say, $100, $60, $40 for the top three performers.
  • since your equipment proves effective, suggest them providing the similar gear to the whole team. Make a rough estimate how your personal investment influenced the company's bill. In other words, estimate the time when the gear pays off its price.
  • suggest your scripts being approved as a standard workflow tools. You may offer making them more Average-Joe-friendly.

If you want to reduce the in-team friction and doesn't mind that $200 prize money that much, you can spend them to make the colleagues' lives better. They may see you as a guy who spent $500 on cheats for getting $200 prize money and they are envy. Break this.

And if all your effort runs flat, you are too good to waste your time and potential there. I'm sure you'll find a better environment somewhere else.


All I’m seeing is a pro-active person who invested in equipment and time spent learning powershell, and is now getting returns on the investment.

If your coworkers don’t like it, they are free to get over it...or start investing in themselves. Either way, you shouldn’t bring your game level down to satisfy the naysayers.

You’re doing an excellent job. Rock on!



Several people have commented that the coworkers can't change, are too stubborn, are undeserving, etc. I conceived of Option 2 after already posting my original answer, but didn't feel it was necessary to update. However, I believe that Option 2 is superior in every way, and would be a positive demonstration of the "Growth Mindset". On the other hand, it does require a certain amount of flexibility on the part of the employer. OP must use judgment to decide whether it is worth pursuing this strategy given the business climate surrounding the organization.

Option 1

$200 can buy an entry-level monitor, and $400 should get a decent mid-range display. Just tell your boss that the company should "save up" for a few months and spend the $200 bonus on new monitors for your whole team. Obviously, the company is being insanely short-sighted and stupid for not doing this math on its own.

As far as the incentive program goes, it should be designed in a way that lets everyone win. One way to do this would be to offer a flat bonus per drawing over the daily quota. If the company estimates that on average, drafters will draw 1 additional drawing a day due to the $200 incentive, and you have 4 folks on your team, then they should offer $10/drawing over quota (computed weekly, of course). If this means that folks suddenly improve their productivity and cause the incentive to exceed $200/week, then that's a problem they should be very glad to have (as presumably, the increased throughput improves their top line by much more than $200/week).

You should also ask your boss to give you a promotion (raise, title, etc.) to "Lead Drafter", "Senior Drafter" or whatever is appropriate, because you are obviously performing at a much higher level than your peers. At that point, you should get higher compensation regardless of the bonus structure because you took the incentive to improve your productivity well beyond your coworkers (who are the strongest witnesses to this fact, being "hostile witnesses"). This would be the company's way of rewarding such employees who improve business productivity on their own.

Furthermore, a promotion would give you authority/cover to spread your techniques to the rest of the team, as the new best practice/business-as-usual, to help them improve as well. This should eliminate any claims of "cheating" or "unfairness". Any boss who pushes back on these ideas is pretty clueless and likely to hamper your career progression. So either they will get on board, or you will have to decide whether to stay in your dead-end job or find a smarter boss. Good luck!

Option 2

Call a 1-on-1 with your boss, and offer this deal:

First, you're going to upgrade the workstations of everyone on the team in the way I have upgraded mine, because I've already demonstrated that it increases productivity. You will take credit for this idea when putting in the hardware request and justifying it to your boss. You will point to my increased productivity as proof that this investment has substantial and quickly-realized ROI.

Second, you will give me 1 month to improve team throughput by 10% (insert realistic value here). After the first month, the team will maintain this higher throughput for 2 more months. After the 3 month demonstration period, you will give the entire team a 10% raise (matching the value above). You will announce this plan to the team in a meeting and obtain their buy-in through your superior management skills, including the rather obvious statement that nobody else in the company is in line for a <10%> raise any time soon.

Third, at the end of the demonstration period you will promote me to Lead Drafter along with a 15-20% raise (make a judgment call here), for permanently improving team performance by <10%>. You will sell this plan upwards as a much better replacement of the ill-conceived bonus plan, which has already generated considerable friction and controversy.

Fourth, you will meet with your manager and sell your considerable influence in improving team morale and performance to leverage a raise/promotion for yourself.

In the unlikely event that I fail to meet the stated goal, the team will keep the improved workstations, which will still pay for themselves quickly, but you are no longer under any other obligations. Is that fair?

Some people will object that the company will not give away 100% of their profit as raises. However, anyone who has been in management will know that wages are not 100% of an employee cost (more like 60-70%). If a team has 10 members, then a 10% throughput increase is about the labor equivalent to hiring another head. But the cost of hiring another head is more like a 15% increase, rather than 10%. This is why companies generally try to squeeze the maximum production out of each employee. The PTO, health insurance, and other benefits are fixed expenses, so the marginal value of additional labor/output is fairly high.

Or, to put it in simple and blunt terms: a 10% improvement for a team of 10 people is worth much more than an additional employee. It's more like a 15% improvement to the company because of better amortization of the fixed costs. So giving a 10% raise still leaves a "free" 5% profit to the company, just for some cheap hardware and better working processes. You should not need to explain this to your boss, but if they are particularly clueless, then, by all means, clue them in.

Of course, many commenters here will object that the coworkers will refuse to participate in this plan, even with the prospect of a 10% raise. I find this difficult to believe. Yes, some people will certainly be more resistant/skeptical of this plan than others. But most folks will respond to strong, positive reinforcement, especially if it is offered as a team incentive. You only need a majority of the team to agree that this is a good plan, because then you co-opt the believers into peer-pressuring the few hold-outs, given that the win is all-or-nothing. You could phrase the plan on an individual basis, but I think that would be a huge mistake. If only 1 or two people take you up on your offer, you may eventually win over the rest of the team, but it makes the whole bargain far less effective/impactful.

Frankly, the whole team should be grateful for such an opportunity, because not only does it offer a chance of a near-guaranteed raise, negotiated for them (the company would surely do better if each team member tried to negotiate a raise personally); but it also improves their skills and value in the marketplace, assuming they weren't planning on retiring at the current company. Plus, it should always be more satisfying working with better equipment, in any case.

  • 6
    $200 actually buys you a very nice monitor (LED, 144Hz, curved if you want it, 24"+, etc.). Moving much beyond that and you're in 1%-needs territory or simply brand-name bragging rights territory. $400 is well into such territory.
    – TylerH
    Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 14:01
  • 1
    I feel this is the morally correct approach, but logically I would struggle to take it (I think I'm altruistic, but apparently not). Why would I give up a 10k/yr bonus for a bunch of disgruntled coworkers who have been mean to me? Getting the bonus should not eliminate a promotion to begin with.
    – Catsunami
    Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 18:03
  • @TylerH Well, we are talking about professional CAD drafters, so if anyone has a need for a top-end monitor, surely they are the peeps. But I agree with the spirit of your point. Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 19:12
  • 2
    @LawnmowerMan Those coworkers will resent him anyway, because they don't wan't to learn how to do things faster. He will simply move from being "the guy who cheats to get the bonus" to "the guy who forced us all to put in more effort", which is possibly even worse. There's absolutely no reason to give up the money for them.
    – Demonblack
    Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 13:59
  • 1
    @LawnmowerMan The sort of people who would appreciate OP's help would not have accused him of "cheating" and wouldn't have tried to intimidate him. OP also said he already offered to teach them what he's doing and they refused. I'm not "assuming" anything here, I think there's ample evidence to support my claim. I agree with your general sentimente, but not in this case.
    – Demonblack
    Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 21:04

Sorry, did I hear you correctly? "Cheating" in the workplace? I'm not sure there's any such thing is there, unless of course there are rules in your company about using your initiative to be more productive, in which case I'd look for another job!

I'm sorry, this answer is quite opinionated but I say keep it up! Your employer is obviously recognising that you're being more productive from the fact you've got the bonuses so why should they discipline or fire you? On saying this however, I agree with some of the posters above that publicising who has "won" the bonus has the potential to cause friction amongst colleagues, so maybe publicising it isn't the way forward.

Sounds to me like some of your colleagues are more than a bit jealous they haven't thought of these ideas themselves and got the weekly bonus or are simply too afraid of change and cower in the face of progress. Smart people would learn from your example and seek to optimise their own workflows by adopting similar techniques but as you have already tried to share your knowledge and been rebuffed, the people accusing you of (sorry, I have to laugh heartily here...) "cheating at work", should pipe down back there in the dark ages.

I would never even entertain the idea of accusing someone of cheating at work because they're being more productive than me and being rewarded for it. That would be a spiteful (and quite pitiful) act on my part.

  • 3
    If there is a competition where the best performing gets a reward, and someone brings tools that the others don't have and perhaps can't afford without taking on debt, then I'm not surprised some call it "cheating". The system is at fault here.
    – gerrit
    Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 8:04
  • 4
    Point is though that the OP has offered to help others increase productivity but this offer has been refused. It doesn't sound like he's lording it over them and boasting about it. I do agree that the system could be modified slightly though.
    – Rich M
    Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 10:53
  • In capitalism, the gains of increased productivity are rarely beneficial, and often detrimental, to individual workers — I doubt management is voluntarily going to offer to increase salaries if they witness an increase in productivity, and it is conceivable that they will lay off part of the workforce if they realise they can do the work with less people.
    – gerrit
    Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 11:17
  • 2
    So are you suggesting the OP not use his initiative to streamline his own workload or instead suggest he succumb to the pressure of his colleagues telling him to cease an activity which is clearly making them feel uneasy and dull down with the rest of the herd for an easier life and to stick it to the man?
    – Rich M
    Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 13:24
  • 2
    Well, I agree with what you're saying in principle but there really is no such thing as "cheating" at work. I applaud the OP for their initiative and think that others should adopt a similar attitude, not necessarily for the employer but for themselves. In this instance, teaching themselves some PowerShell is increasing their own knowledge, excersising their learning abilities, easing the strains on their workload and generally making their personal life at work that bit better irrespective of their employers views. To improve yourself you have to push through the barriers to achieve.
    – Rich M
    Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 14:55

Would it be better to just stop all this and go back to working like everyone else to keep morale up?

I would speak with your boss and determine if there are any specific rules of the weekly bonus that you may be violating. If there is documentation that would be best. If it is determined that you are not in violation of any rules/policy I would continue to work exactly as you have been doing so.

The next time your colleagues complain to you directly or accuse you of cheating, you can refer them to your boss or the documentation ( if it exists ).

  • This is only a CYA tactic and likely to anger the coworkers more. I've done similar things in the past and it's Never worked for me. You just get called other things, like "teachers pet", brown-noser, smart Alec, and they quit being your friend. Being technically correct is almost always the wrong place to stop being correct. In this case, "leveling the playing field" so the co-workers is the correct thing to do, even if they also don't initially like it and also if mgmt turns up the dial on the bonus. Either the co-workers will see how much easier it is or they'll become the grump. Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 20:18
  • 1
    @computercarguy OP has already offered to help his coworkers with the scripts and they have not yet accepted his help. And OP can't reasonably be expected to help with new keyboards, mice, and monitors.
    – sf02
    Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 20:57
  • Completely shutting down any "opposition" by rule lawyering and saying they aren't doing anything wrong isn't going to make the co-workers say "Oh, I guess I'm wrong, I'm sorry and I'll shut up now" and actually mean it in a non-hostile way. And I don't expect the OP to buy those things for the co-workers. As other Answers say, talk to the boss to get the company to supply the equipment and accept the macros/scripts/etc from the OP. These co-workers are acting the same way as those being "replaced" by automation and need to be reassured in the same way so they can level up to keep their jobs. Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 21:13
  • 1
    @computercarguy It is not OP's fault ( assuming he is doing everything by the book ) that the co-workers are behaving like children about the situation. It is also not OP's responsibility to fix the situation for his co-workers, they are perfectly capable of going to the boss and asking for the proper equipment/ scripts instead of sitting around and complaining. OP has already reached out to the co-workers regarding the scripts and it has fallen on deaf ears.
    – sf02
    Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 13:17
  • That doesn't give them the right to be a snob about it. Being a snob will only get more of the same treatment. Either the manager needs to step up to do something about it, this will blow over in a month, or they will mark themselves as not part of the team, even though they did try to help others. Your advice will push them into the "not a team player" role and likely to get worse problems because of it. Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 15:57

By bringing in your own equipment, you're essentially bidding down the pay for the job. There is a point of view that the workplace should be an arena of unbridled competition, but that is not the prevailing view. We have laws against outcompeting other workers by working for less than minimum wage, working overtime without taking a pay bump, or skipping lunch break to get more work in. In this worldview of worker protection, your co-workers have a legitimate grievance: either they spend their own money buying monitors, essentially taking a pay cut, or they lose any chance to get the $200 bonus.

There is a concept in game theory called a "dollar auction". A dollar is put up for auction, and people can place bids on it. The catch is, once you put up money for a bid, that money is gone. If someone else outbids you, you can either put up more money, or quit and lose the money you've put up so far. This $200 bonus has elements of a dollar auction: you've put up the money to buy monitors, and that's helping you win. But someone else could also buy even better monitors, and then you'd have to either put up even more money to buy even better monitors than those, or eat the loss of your current monitors. And if everyone buys better monitors, then they're all back where they started as far as competitiveness for the bonus, but now they're out the money for the monitors. It's a situation that's similar to steroids: using steroids is placing your health as part of your "bid" for winning the competition, and it requires everyone else either bid their health as well or concede, and if everyone uses steroids, then they're all at the same place as far as relative competitive, just with worse health.

The automation tools are a bit different, but humans evolved to evaluate the world through rough heuristics, not precise rules. The same instincts that are aroused by legitimate grievances, such as you engaging in dollar-auction type behavior, are also aroused by grievances that have less of a logical justification. People aren't robots. They have emotions, and part of dealing with other people is recognizing that they're going to have emotional reactions to your actions, and those emotions aren't any less real just because they aren't "logical", and calling the other people "children", as another answer suggests, is not helpful.

So if you care about office morale, you should give up the monitors, and consider giving up the tools. You could also see whether giving up the monitors makes your colleagues more receptive to the tools.

  • 3
    But this "dollar auction" is is happening on the margin, constantly in the labor market in general. I see no compelling reason to try to coordinate with my fellow workers to prevent it from happening either, business is competitive and to the extent that I care for broad moral implications, that's good for us all. Further, the idea of voluntarily hamstringing myself by not using my own tools or specialized knowledge is aesthetically offensive.
    – John K
    Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 23:05
  • 2
    -1. The OP clearly stated that they did not buy the equipment to get the bonus. They did it to increase their working comfort. They did not learn PowerShell to get the bonus. They have built scripts to work faster. Scripts and more comfortable wokplace let them meet quotas earlier. The bonus winning was a side effect. Their offer giving their know-how away to coworkers is a proof for me.
    – Crowley
    Commented Oct 25, 2019 at 11:47
  • @Crowley Their intent is irrelevant. It has the same effect either way. And I clearly distinguished between the equipment and the software skills. Commented Oct 25, 2019 at 19:45

First off, I fully agree with Matt said.

But you also need to consider what the possible outcomes are. Assuming your boss does the right thing and champions the more productive methods and equipment, then it depends on what the children do. Do they grow up and learn better ways to do their jobs or not. If it's only a few that are left behind and the rest are happy, then stay.

It is also possible they will resent you, as children do when they don't get their way. In which case, you have to decide whether you want to be the disliked teacher's pet or leave the school, so to speak. Hopefully, most will act like functional adults and this all blows over with a more productive team in the end. Otherwise, be prepared to take your forward-thinking skills to a better team.


You are not cheating to get the bonus. But there is another problem. You are bringing your own tools to work.

  • Unless the company has a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy to cover this, you should not connect electronic devices to the office network.
    Just a monitor and a mouse, you might say, but any USB device could be compromised and in turn compromise the network. A mouse could "pretend" to be a keyboard and type in malware. Why? Money, of course. Either ransomware or preparation for pishing.
  • There is usually an understanding which tools an employee pays out of his or her pocket and what the employer has to provide. In customer-facing jobs there could be an expectation to bring smart clothes. In construction jobs there could be the expectation that the employer provides hard hats. You are shifting the expectation in your company regarding what the management has to do and what have to do. If employees must bring their own second monitor, how long until they have to bring their own first monitor, or their own keyboard?
  • On a related note, how about liability/insurance if your property is damaged?
  • Also, a fourth point might be that the work process (tools and activities) might be documented, and that documentation provided to customers, who might feel lied to if that process is deviated from... Fifth, if work was quoted to the customer by the hour, in advance, the company might be found cheating if the work does not actually take these hours - and if work hours are sold on at a markup, an increase in productivity is not always as useful as it appears... Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 19:40
  • 3
    Generally speaking, BYOD policies usually only cover devices which can connect to and communicate with the corporate network, such as storage devices, mobile phones and tablets. This is to protect IT systems against virus and other malware infection and to guard against data theft. They do not usually cover items such as mice, keyboards or monitors. I do stress this is generally speaking.
    – Rich M
    Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 19:49
  • Keyboards and Mice could easily hide an USB stick and hub :) Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 20:14
  • 1
    @RichM, it would have to be a (deliberately) altered mouse, but those are the reasons why many businesses have a policy of "do not connect any device without clearance, period." For that matter, they might want to do an electrical/fire safety check as well.
    – o.m.
    Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 3:33
  • 1
    +1 A keyboard or mouse that can learn macros is theoretically susceptible to viruses and malware. Clearing BYOD issues with management is well-advised.
    – krubo
    Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 5:19

Cheating implies breaking the rules, and you have one or more unwritten rules.

Your colleagues have an unwritten rule (or several) regarding speed of work.

Some companies do not respond in a rational fashion to this kind of thing. Those that have sense will look at your techniques and investigate how they can apply them to the process. Unfortunately, some will simply raise KPI’s and change where bonuses and other incentives head.

In companies which behave like the latter, your colleagues will react badly if you use custom tools to increase performance because the effect on their working day is a negative one. You are impacting them negatively.

What to do?

Regarding your custom hardware, talk to your immediete boss, suggest better keyboards for everybody. Your recent productivity gives your recommendations weight.

Regarding your powershell scripts, add an open source licence header and give them to people. Ask your immediate boss if you can spend a bit of time training people with this tool.

  • When recommending better keyboards and extra monitors for the rest of the department, the boss may initially see that as an extra expense that isn't in the budget and shoot it down. To avoid this visceral reaction, I would put it in terms of ROI. ("Using better hardware would allow the department to complete X additional drawings per week, so the company can increase sales. The equipment will pay for itself in a couple months and increase revenue in the long run.") Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 18:23
  • @SeantheBean why not add that suggestion to the answer? Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 16:59

The claim you are paying to win is true. Your coworkers would have to spend their own money on equipment to do the same. Then it becomes an arms race.

It's not your fault that the company doesn't provide cheap equipment that can massively improve performance either.

You can't win here. Either your performance suffers or you upset your coworkers.


Look for a different employer, one that is will to pay for good equipment and pay you extra to automate tasks.

Also, don't be afraid to look at other job titles. It could be that you've just outgrown your own job title and current responsibilities.


Wow. You must not look south on your performance & productivity now regardless of whoever thinks what. Few more days/weeks you score better productivity than them then they will also start following you. You shall ensure that your use of own keyboard/mouse & 2nd monitor is not against any hard-written rules of organization.

Just talk to your HR or manager and show benefits gained by use of better keyboards/mouse & 2nd monitor. You have already shared your macros and powershell scripts which already scored you generous move. If this is improving productivity then surely your organization will be interested to provide it to other employees also.


First off, there is nothing wrong with being more efficient than your colleagues, people might see this as an advantage, but I believe the company you are working for shouldn't do the $200 bonus, as this can create jealousy among peers. I personally don't think you will get fired for working faster than others, it's nothing to do with pay to win, we are talking about an office, making macros requires skill, and patience. In my eyes, you have nothing to worry about, and your last sentence even shows that "working like everybody else" might boost morale, but there is nothing wrong with being more efficient.

You must log in to answer this question.