When they hand you a laptop at your new job, it is easy to get excited. Especially if you have not had a personal laptop for a while, the work laptop might seem like a solution to everything. Yet, mixing work and pleasure in your company-issued devices is the last thing you need to do.
A personal computer, for instance, an HP laptop or a tablet with a keyboard, can be just the investment you need when you land that dream job. Apart from being a treat for yourselves, a personal device can help you in keeping personal data from entering the work-issued device.
Why Shouldn’t You Use a Work Laptop for Personal Purposes?
The answer is pretty obvious; the work laptop is meant for things related to work. Especially during the pandemic, companies tightened their policies on employee monitoring. This means that IT is keeping track of almost everything you do on the work laptop.
Statistics show that employees start to personalise the work laptop around the end of the first week at a new job. It starts with a wallpaper change, checking the daily news, and gradually progresses into checking social media and watching Netflix. Using keyloggers, biometric tracking, geolocation, and software that tracks web browsing and social media behaviour, companies know whether you are misusing their property or not.
So, unless you want someone in IT to see you and your coworkers complaining about the boss or have embarrassing personal emails pop up while you are presenting in front of executives, draw lines between personal and work devices.
What Happens When You Use a Work Laptop for Other Purposes?
When you work on a company-issued, say, an HP laptop, work with the assumption that someone in the IT department is overseeing your activity. While this might seem like a paranoid approach, most companies know that employees using their laptops for nonwork-related purposes are behind the high-risk security breaches. Hence, preventing such inconveniences is one of their top priorities, so if you don’t want to jeopardise your position, keep profession and pleasure apart.
If you operate with the idea that you can clear all the personal data before you hand the device back, this might not always be an option. Some corporates restrict employees from clearing anything from the issued devices before the handover. They also conduct an audit of the data, and if they see that data has been cleared from the device, depending on your nature of work, you may even be accused of corporate espionage.
On unprecedented occasions where you are fired, or the company suddenly collapses, you will be locked out of your laptop almost immediately, leaving no time to transfer all the personal data. Besides, having an IT expert or another coworker see all the personal data is simply not worth it.
What to Look for in a Personal Laptop
Now that you know why using your work laptop for everything is a bad idea, you need to look for a personal laptop. Meanwhile, the best part about owning a personal laptop is that you don’t need it to be as powerful as the one you use for work. Chances are you will need it for writing some emails, checking social media, and watching movies. For instance, an HP laptop with a Core i5 or i7 will undoubtedly be more than sufficient for such purposes. And unless you have side gigs that require better specs, there are many affordable options for you out in the market.