Allowing Employees to Use Personal Computers for Work: Business Savings or Business Nightmare?

Sep 30, 2021 | Blog


It may seem natural to let the employees in your small business use their personal computers instead of providing one for them. As the business owner, you probably use the same computer for business and personal use. After all, your business is pretty personal.

Business Savings?

So, why not let your employees do the same? We all know employees check Facebook at work, no matter how many times you tell them not to. So, why not let them do it on their own computer?

If they are terminated or quit, you don’t have to worry about getting that laptop back from them. So, it makes life easier to let them use their personal computers. Plus, it’s one less business expense for you, right?

Opening a Can of Worms

Unfortunately, it isn’t a good business practice to allow your employees to use their personal computers for work. We don’t recommend you let employees use personal computers to work remotely either.

Here are some reasons you should require employees to use a company computer for work:


The biggest concern with employees using their own devices is security. Here are just a few security questions you will need to answer if you don’t have control over the device.

  • Who has access to the computer they’ve brought into the office?
  • Have their kids downloaded some malware on it while playing a game?
  • Is the anti-virus software on it any good, or is it one of the free ones?
  • How recently did they update the anti-virus software and run a virus check?
  • Is their computer software up-to-date?
  • Do they have a password on their computer?
  • Is their password strong?

These are all security concerns, even if they are only using their personal computer when working from home.

If you are using a VPN solution, then employees on private devices are connected to your work network as if they are in the office. Using a remote desktop solution, like LogMeIn, can also increase the risk of hacking. It literally opens the door for someone to steal your employee’s credentials and gain remote access to your network.

You can somewhat mitigate this issue by ensuring all computers accessing your network have the required anti-virus software and patch management solution installed.

However, that doesn’t get you out of the woods just yet.

Poor Performance

Most people buy cheap, low-performance machines for home use. If you are using it for checking email, browsing the web, and watching Netflix, how much speed do you really need?

However, downloading work documents and completing other work-related activities requires a system with more power. Without that power, employees end up wasting a lot of time waiting for spreadsheets to open.


Every computer that has company data on it should be encrypted. This is especially true for laptops, but even desktops should be encrypted.

Windows 10 Home doesn’t provide encryption, so you or your employee will need to upgrade to Pro for approximately $99. Upgrading the software is a start, but unfortunately, most home PCs do not have the necessary hardware to make the encryption process work without interruption. Plus, very few employees will want to enter a 26+ numeric string every time they reboot their computer.


There are plenty of compatibility issues that could arise from allowing your employees to use their personal devices for work.

For example:

  • Mac vs. PC: If the office computers run on Windows, you will run into many compatibility issues if your employee is working remotely on a Mac.
  • Home vs. Pro: If your employee’s computer has Windows 10 Home, it might be challenging to connect it to your company server. That’s because they need Windows 10 Pro to join their computer to your Windows domain. So, someone (probably you) will be stuck paying for their system to be upgraded.

Legal Implications

There are several legal issues that you should discuss with your lawyer if you are going to let someone use a personal computer for work.

These include:

  • Expectation of privacy
  • Legal right to remove data and programs from their computers upon separation

It is essential to establish policies around these issues and share them with any employee using a personal computer for work.

Employee Turnover

Consider what happens to your company data if you terminate an employee or they quit. If they are using a company-owned device, then the path is pretty clear cut. You remove access from any cloud-based services, such as email, and get the device back.

However, if they are using a personal computer, there could be many time-consuming complications.

For example:

  • How will you get your business data off of their personal computer?
  • Can you remotely uninstall any programs linked to your company, such as Dropbox?
  • What if they refuse to give you access to their system?

Save Your Time, Money, and Sanity: Require Employees to Use Company-Owned Computers

It may seem easier and cheaper to allow employees to use their personal computers for work. However, it opens you up to a lot of time-consuming, headache-inducing, and potentially costly problems. Yes, buying good computers can be expensive, but they are an investment that should last you approximately five years.

It also makes it easier for everyone to separate work from personal time.

We Have the Cure for Tech Frustration

Sawyer Solutions helps small and medium-sized businesses and non-profits set up and maintain technology. We are located in the Birmingham, AL area, but serve clients all over the country.

Technology can be an excellent tool for productivity, efficiency, and security – until it starts becoming a nuisance that takes your focus away from your business. If you have questions about your business technology, then please reach out to us.

We’ll be happy to take the frustration and confusion out of tech for you. So, you can get back to growing your business.

Call (844)448-7767 today or send us a message.

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