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Ensuring Equipment Compliance : A Guide for Distributed Teams

Ensuring Equipment Compliance : A Guide for Distributed Teams

As your remote team size grows, remote working will provide a lot of benefits to you and your employees. However, managing a dispersed workforce that includes multiple home offices can be challenging but it is very achievable with the right resources.

A challenge most companies face when they go remote is compliance. Without the direct supervision and presence of managers and HR, remote employees are sometimes unsure of what policies and guidelines they should follow. Which could be a serious drawback when you're trying to create a culture where every worker knows exactly what's expected of them—and exactly what isn't.

While remote working can be a boon for many organizations, it's essential to set up clear guidelines and expectations. Creating a certain amount of compliance measures is important so that your remote team is adhering to regulations. Here are some tips on how to ensure equipment compliance for remote employees.

Define your company equipment contract

Due to the high cost of technology equipment, it’s critical to have policies in place for when devices are assigned remotely and to have a document that details proper handling, care and set down rules.

An equipment agreement helps you clearly outline policies for all devices in one place. It will help you avoid having to rely on employee judgment alone. This is especially helpful when an employee's time with your company is coming to an end. You'll be able to retrieve the equipment that was assigned to that employee.

First and foremost,

  • Outline what is expected of employees.
  • Detail what is considered company property and how it can be used.
  • Be specific in explaining what they are responsible for and include details on how you expect them to meet expectations.
  • Outline your remote work policies and procedures for getting authorization.

A sample template like the one below can help you to define your company equipment agreement expectations.

Employee equipment agreement template

I understand that this equipment is the property of (insert company’s name) and has been assisgned to me for work-related purposes. I am responsible for the care and maintenance of the equipment. In the case that the equipment is damaged, lost, stolen, while in my possession, I will be responsible for its cost and for its replacement. In case the equipment gets broken due to wear and tear, I will have it inspected by the IT support team as soon as possible.

Upon separation from the company, I will return the equipment in good working order. If I fail to return the equipment upon separation from the company, or if it is damaged (excluding normal wear and tear), I authorize a payroll deduction to cover any replacement costs the company might incur. In absence of notice, the company has the right to withhold my final pay until the return of the equipment or that notice has been given.

By signing this Agreement, I acknowledge that I have received the office equipment described above in working order and I conform to the terms and conditions for the use of said equipment.

 

EMPLOYEE NAME: ………………….          EMPLOYEE NO.: ……………………..

 

EMPLOYEE ADDRESS:.......................        POSITION: …………………………….

 

Item

Model

Serial Number

 Condition Received

Macbook Pro 

13-inch, M1, 2021

 xxxxxxxxxxxx

Brand New

 ……………………………..                                       …………………………………

EMPLOYEE SIGNATURE:                                        DATE:

 

……………………………….                                      …………………………………

SUPERVISOR SIGNATURE:                                     DATE ASSIGNED:

 

There are two main things to remember when it comes to equipment contracts. First, create a thorough list of all the equipment that your company uses, and make sure that everyone who needs to sign on the dotted line knows exactly what it is. Second, keep your contract up-to-date.

Equipment changes so frequently these days that it can be easy to forget whether your contract currently covers something or not. It is best to keep updating your equipment contract with regulations to protect the company’s assets.

Equipment management

Equipment management

With the ever-changing technology that comes along with the digital markets, it has become necessary to incorporate equipment management platforms to maximize productivity. Doing this will allow you to quickly access your equipment while saving time and money associated with managing multiple devices. Equipment management includes the combination of all technical and administrative actions, including supervision action intended to retain an item in or restore it, to a state in which it can perform a required function.

Some best practices to ensure equipment management are;

  1. Have an inventory of your equipment's
  2. Track how it is used.
  3. Right asset, right place, right time.
  4. Don't spend more – spend smarter.
  5. Fix things before they break.
  6. Find underlying issues.
  7. Buy the best.
  8. Use the right equipment inventory system.

Data compliance

Data compliance

When it comes to data compliance, companies need to ensure that their remote employees are aware of their responsibilities to protect sensitive information, update security software (if needed) and regularly change passwords. Even what might seem like simple things like the minimal use of paper is crucially important, especially if the information contained relates to sensitive vital company information, such as purchases, financial accounts. Data protection still applies to paper files as well as electronic files.

Remote employees should continue to be careful when using USBs, phones and ensure laptops are not misplaced or left unattended as well as making sure devices are always locked.

Only trusted networks or cloud servers that comply with the organization’s rules and procedures should be used. Many organizations have also asked employees to ensure “listening” devices such as Amazon Echo should not be in the same room if work-related calls are being conducted.

Once remote employees are educated about cybersecurity and top practices are implemented, they can quickly become standard practices for everyone in a company to follow. Thus, making sure that everyone within the organization is complying with the data security measures.

Software compliance

Software compliance

Software assets, or licenses, must be compliant with company and/or legal policies. To achieve compliance, you should take an inventory of software assets on your network and compare this against what you are legally using. In order to do so, you must have all related purchase documentation to “prove” your licensed software and properly understand the terms of your licenses.

Software equipment compliance offers an easy way to compare your installations with purchases, as this comparison can show whether or not you are legal and would pass an audit. IT managers can improve their visibility by investing in software asset management (SAM) tools, which help them keep track of what applications they have purchased, where they are installed, and whether they comply with company licensing policies.

By performing regular, thorough inventory checks, the IT manager will be able to verify all license equipment and installations. Organizations will also cut costs and reduce the risk of penalties from an audit. However, a manual approach to compliance can be difficult to achieve. That’s why good compliance does require a system in place to help with software asset management. Compared to the cost savings, this investment is a no-brainer, and one that will guarantee compliance when used to its full potential.

Proper knowledge on compliance and with an effective system in place, will help you ensure that your organization follows the rules of compliance and is safe when it comes to auditor checks.

Final thoughts 

The process of ensuring equipment compliance is an ongoing and collaborative effort that requires the active participation of all remote team members. While there are steps you can take to make this process easier, such as installing backup tapes or using paper for routine recordkeeping, ultimately it falls to the company, managers and team leaders to setup a process that ensure their team's compliance. It's the only way to help ensure your organization is protected from unfortunate circumstances.

GroWrk makes sure that your remote employees comply with the equipment regulations of your company by acting as an intermediary between a remote employee and the employer. There isn’t any need for either party to follow up because all the steps happen within the dashboard. The best part is it is less time consuming and it’s all done seamlessly. Request demo to get started.

Oluchi Njoku

May 27

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