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Laptop Management For Remote Teams

Laptop Management For Remote Teams

Laptop management for remote teams is often an afterthought. Here is why you should care.

According to the Ladders Quarterly Remote Work Report, 3 million additional jobs in the U.S went permanently remote in Q4 2021. That’s 1 million more jobs that went remote than in Q3. 

While remote work has provided a lot of opportunities for employers and remote workers alike, there are also some disadvantages. Due to the increase in the use of cloud services, companies are more susceptible to cyberattacks.

A feminine hands wearing a watch and gorgeous ring pieces typing on a laptop

In the traditional workplace, employees' laptops were always nestled behind the company's firewall, but this is no longer the case with remote working.

There needs to be a comprehensive solution for managing laptops for remote teams in 3 key areas: onboarding, retrieving and storing. Without adequate laptop management, an IT manager can't protect their distributed team's devices or maintain data compliancy.

Remote IT management will guarantee the safety of company data. There are a lot of tools out there for fostering easy collaboration, communication, team management, and productivity for distributed teams. But there are few effective tools to help companies in onboarding, retrieving, and storing digital assets.

For a remote team to succeed, businesses must provide not just the right tool for video conferencing and project management but also IT asset management tools and software. 

A woman seated across her laptop wearing a black top showing frustration by covering her face with her hands

Common Pitfalls of Laptop Management For Remote Teams

Company data security can be at risk when remote workers use their work laptops for personal purposes. Cybercriminals can launch phishing attacks against personal email addresses, providing access to a corporate network when opened on a work laptop.

One of the important steps companies can take to ensure data security is the regular use a cybersecurity audit checklist. No matter the size of the company, there are laptop management common pitfalls such as:  

  • Compliance issues
  • Inventory management issues
  • Cost optimization
  • Ensuring secure access to company data
  • Protecting against data theft for a lost or stolen laptop
  • Providing users tools and accessories for proper care
  • Retrieving laptops from former employees

Compliance Issues

A lot of countries have stringent laws in place to compel companies to provide the right tools their remote team needs to carry out their jobs effectively as well as protecting customer data.

Compliance issues can arise when there aren't the security measures in place to protect this data or the company doesn't provide their remote employees with secure devices.

Laptop Inventory Management Issues

The primary purpose of a laptop inventory system is to keep an accurate record of laptops owned by the companies and also to map what assets are with which employees.

This is necessary for managing remote teams and understanding what software is being used on each device. Good IT inventory management will lead to an increase in productivity, cost optimization, and team management. 

Cost Optimization

Good laptop management can help preserve company values while ensuring disciplined spending habits and cost reduction. An excellent strategy to achieve this is by employing a VMI system that shifts laptop management's responsibilities from a team member or team members to secondary companies such as GroWrk. 

Ensuring Secure Access to Company data

It is no news that remote workers are the number one target of cybercriminals looking to access companies' data. While it is important to ensure data is readily available for ongoing business needs, it is more important to remember the importance of safety. Check out how to set up secure laptops for employees working remotely.

Protecting Against Data Theft for a Lost or Stolen Laptop

According to Forrester, 15% of data breaches result from a lost or stolen laptop. A common pitfall for data security is misplaced laptops, resulting in data theft. Good laptop management can protect against data theft and ensure the company information is safe when a laptop is stolen.

A man repairing a laptop

Issues with Repairing and Maintaining Laptops 

Providing equipment to remote employees is only one part of the laptop management loop. Many companies are oblivious to repairs and maintenance.

Wear and tear are inevitable in existence. It is a company's responsibility to plan repairs and maintenance for their remote workforce's devices after prolonged use.

An effective way to do this is by working with third-party companies like GroWrk that has a network of warehouses around the globe that can store and repair laptops regardless of where a team member is located. 

Issues with Retrieving Laptops from Former Employees

Laptop retrieval from ex-employees can be difficult, especially when they are disgruntled. According to Gaebler, over 9 million company laptops in 2020 needed to be returned to employers in the United States.

The pandemic and working from home has made the retrieval process further difficult and has emboldened employees to hold on to company assets which cost companies thousands of dollars to replace.

Did you know that in 2021 Asurion paid $300,000 to disgruntled employee who stole a company laptop, exfiltrated data and posed as an anonymous ransomware hacker?

All these problems can be solved with good digital asset management skills, a comprehensive remote work policy, and an employee equipment agreement. There is no one size fits all solution as no two companies experience the same laptop management issues.

A guy laptop while working from home

Laptop Inventory Management For Remote Teams 

When onboarding a new remote worker, building a remote first culture or setting up a remote team equipping them with digital assets should be a priority, a few options for solving this include paying employees stipends to purchase one, sending a laptop as a perk, or offering company equipment to ensure security.

While all these are good solutions, none offers insight into delivery and maintenance. These are important parts of rremote team management software, companies usually can't monitor.

Think about how many laptops and other equipment have been damaged or delayed during delivery - The horror! Keeping track of tools and equipment and running an inventory becomes a problem. 

At GroWrk, we solve laptop inventory management for remote teams by offering a dashboard that handles the procurement, delivery, and storage of devices.

With GroWrk’s solutions, companies do not have to think twice about hiring employees from any country in the world.

GroWrk can deliver laptops and other work from home equipment to over 150 countries. We also provide a platform for inventory management to help onboard and offboard employees in minutes. 

A woman seated on a couch smiling at her laptop while making a gesture with her hand

Laptop Inventory Software

Laptop inventory software can track and manage laptops and other accessories. 

Growrk stores and monitors company devices on behalf of companies so they won't have to store devices in an employee's apartment or the infamous "IT closet" on-site. GroWrk also manages the logistics and all laptops come with remote access and security software.

This takes away the stress and work hours that can be spent and helps build the proper company culture.

computer inventory management

Businesses can order laptops and other equipment through the GroWrk catalogue for their distributed teams. The unique thing about GroWrk is businesses can track their laptops with its laptop inventory software.

GroWrk customers can see when laptops are delivered, stored, or retrieved through the dashboard. This software is digital asset management for mac and windows users and provides 24hrs IT support. 

Arranged letter tiles spelling the word "agreement" placed on a document with two pensLaptop Agreement Form for Employees

A Laptop Agreement Form for employees is a document to be completed by the employee who uses a laptop owned by the company for work-related purposes.

This document will guide the usage, maintenance, and retrieval of the laptop if needed. Here is a Laptop agreement template for employees:

Employee Laptop Agreement  

 Name: Jennifer Aigbini

 Position: Content Manager

 Department: Marketing

 Employee Number: 123456

Equipment Information 

Make and Model: DESKTOP-GOE6V4T

Serial Number: 123456789

Additional Description:
  • Product Number: 1234567
  • Microprocessor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-1035G1 CPU @ 1.00GHz 1.19 GHz
  • RAM: 8.00 GB (7.70 GB usable)
  • Comment: The laptop has minor scratches

Agreement

The equipment with the above-stated details I will be using for the duration of my time at this position belongs to [Company Name] property and will only be used for work-related purposes. This laptop is only intended only for the use of the company employee to whom it has been assigned.  

As a borrower of the companies laptop, I understand and accept the following responsibilities:  

  • I will follow the below-listed guidelines for proper care of the laptop. 
  • I will use the laptop only for work-related purposes. I will not install any software the company has not approved on the laptop.
  • I will not write on, intentionally damage, or place any labels or stickers on the laptop. 
  • I will not disable or uninstall the virus protection program provided with the said laptop. 
  • Suppose an accident occurs, and the said laptop or accessories are stolen or stopped working under reasonable wear and tear conditions. In case, I shall immediately notify my supervisor and IT department.
  • In the event the equipment or its accessories are lost or damaged due to my own fault, I will report as soon as possible to the IT support team and be willing to bear the cost of replacement
  • Any modifications I make in the computer's settings will be for usability or cosmetic reasons only.
  • Additionally, I fully understand and accept that if I am fired, promoted, or resigned from my position; I will without fail return the assigned laptop and every other piece of equipment issued to me.
  • If the equipment is not returned at the time given by my supervisor, the company has the right to delay my final payment until the equipment is successfully returned.
  • Failure to return equipment will be considered theft and may lead to criminal prosecution by the company.

Guidelines for Proper Care of the Laptop:  

  1. The laptop is assigned to you only for work and work-related uses and shall not be loaned to anyone. 
  2. You are responsible for the laptop and should not allow usage by 3rd parties including other employees, family members and friends.
  3. The laptop should be properly taken care of using but not limited to the following guidelines: 
  4. Give care appropriate for any electrical device
  5. Use a surge protector or unplug the laptop during electrical storms. 
  6. Keep food and drink away from the computer. 
  7. Do not leave the laptop exposed to direct sunlight or extreme cold. 
  8. Position the laptop on a safe surface, so it does not drop or fall. 
  9. Do not attempt to repair a damaged or malfunctioning laptop. 
  10.  Do not attempt to upgrade the computer or software.
  11. Keep laptop away from moisture and liquid spills
  12.  Do not use the laptop in environments where you ought not to use an electrical device   
  13. Proper security is to be provided for the laptop at all times, including, but not limited to, the following: 
  • When not in use, always keep your laptop in a safe place
  • Do not leave the laptop in an unlocked car.
  • Do not leave the A/C adapter behind when moving the laptop.  

By signing below, I acknowledge I have reviewed each point of this agreement and agree to all the conditions above. 

 

_____________________________

Employee Name

  

_____________________________

Employee Signature

 

_____________________________

Supervisor Signature

 

___________________

Conclusion 

Company data security can be at risk without good laptop management, which is essential for growth for any company with or without a virtual team. Anthea Turner once said, "The first rule of management is delegation. Don't try and do everything yourself because you can't."

GroWrk is the answer to all your laptop management problems. Schedule a call with the best logistics and equipment management company today.

Grow remote with GroWrk. We provide and manage laptops, devices, other equipment and services to remote teams in over 150 countries.

Schedule a call now 

Growrk remote partners
Mara Quintanilla

January 7

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