Let's say that a company has made years of Word documents or Excel spreadsheets in Windows but one day there is a new worker who is more familiar with say LaTeX, Open Office and Linux. Should the boss force a new employer to use the programs everyone else uses? In my opinion, worker should use the software he or she can use the most smoothly but are there other opinions?

closed as primarily opinion-based by gnat, Monica Cellio Oct 21 '14 at 15:27

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Welcome to The Workplace. This is not a discussion forum but a Q&A site focused on answerable questions. This sounds like you want to start a discussion, so I'm putting it on hold. Please check out the tour and the link in the notice above, and then see if you can rewrite the question to fit here better. If you edit it, it will be put into a review queue for reopening. Thanks. – Monica Cellio Oct 21 '14 at 15:27
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    If you want to get fired, use the software you want. Honestly, if others need your documents and tehy are not in the correct program then they are messed up by your screw-up in using something not authorized. There are also licensing issues, etc. Be a grown-up and use what the company uses. This is not playtime where you can do what you want. This is work. – HLGEM Oct 21 '14 at 15:53
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    Your question clearly indicates that you have given no thought to coordination, team work and interacting with other parties. Ask such a question when you are interviewing with me and your job candidacy is done. You arenot fit to work with others if you give NO consideration of the impact of what you do and how you do it on others. – Vietnhi Phuvan Oct 21 '14 at 17:00
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    @teego1967 they certainly can. Any extra software package can cause IT more work because sooner or later they'll have to support it by answering questions or getting to play happily with the standard app in use. – mkennedy Oct 21 '14 at 17:49
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    I have never worked anywhere where other software was acceptable if a standard pacakage was provided by the company. Ever - in over 30 years. I would fire anyone who use a unix based piece of software on my Windows development enviroment withouth prior approval. – HLGEM Oct 21 '14 at 17:59

"worker should use the software he or she can use the most smoothly"

No. Employees should use the software that makes the business as a whole function most effectively. Reasons an employee should not have his own personal choice include:

  • Licensing. The company may already have licences for product A, and not wish to spend on product B. Alternatively they may have exclusivity agreements with suppliers.
  • Document compatibility. Product B is useless if it produces anything that is not guaranteed compatible with Product A.
  • Extra work for IT staff to be familiar with and maintain two products.
  • Setting precedents - one employee might be fine to leave with product B, but it gives co-workers a green flag to install whatever they choose.

If you don't like what your company uses, by all means produce a business case for changing. Even then you still have to accept that higher management may see issues that you can't see from your position.

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