Having a company equipment agreement with employees is essential for ensuring cybersecurity and keeping company equipment in the best possible condition. The sudden uptick in remote work meant that companies of all sizes had to adapt work-from-home policies. Many times, working from home also means employees brought company-owned devices home.
A modern company equipment agreement must include remote work and the use of company equipment offsite. This only makes it more important to have a clear agreement with your team.
Today, we’ll review the most important aspects of a company agreement checklist and what to include in yours.
The Importance of a Company Equipment Agreement
Technology equipment is expensive and you want to make sure that it’s treated properly. It’s especially critical to have a document for when devices are offsite, which happens often in the modern professional landscape.
A company equipment agreement allows you to rest assured that your company won’t face surprises like stolen equipment.
Using the agreement, you can clearly outline the policy for all devices in one place. Rather than relying on employee judgment, you should have everything written down. This is particularly helpful when an employee’s time with your company is coming to an end. You’ll be able to count on getting back the equipment you lent out.
The foundation of a company equipment agreement is that employees should treat company devices like they would if they were their own, including secure storage.
Company Equipment Checklist
Ensure that your company policy covers all of the equipment you may lend out. However, if you only provide limited equipment or prefer to have a unique document for each, then you can modify this checklist for each device.
First and foremost, outline what you expect from employees. Be detailed in explaining what they are responsible for. It’s helpful to include that:
- Company property must be used properly
- The employee must keep it in good working order.
- Only authorized use of equipment/software is permitted.
Use this section to detail what is considered company property and how it can be used. Some common forms of company property are:
- Cell phones
- Desk chairs
Common restrictions for company devices are no personal searches or communications and no unauthorized software downloads. Outline your procedure for getting software authorized.
Even if you briefly touched on it in the first section, make your use of internet guidelines crystal clear. Most companies have the right to monitor communications on company equipment. Outline your specific internet policy, including what is and is not allowed. Remind employees that they cannot use unsecured sites.
Detail what responsibilities employees have regarding equipment usage. Some ideas include:
- How to prevent viruses/malware on devices.
- Best practices for sending messages or images.
- Providing any passwords for the devices to the IT department in case of emergency.
Explicitly state that the company owns any data on the devices as well as the devices. The information is public, and this can deter the employees from personal device use. Again, mention any monitoring practices that your company can employ. Briefly go over any security systems in place and their functions.
Keep this section brief and to the point. Detail the consequences of violating the company equipment agreement. This should be based on the violation and the typical disciplinary actions of your company.
Damage or Device Loss
What happens if a device is lost or damaged? In this section, outline who will pay for device damage/loss. If you will deduct the expense from the employee’s paycheck, make it clear how much they will be responsible for. Up to your discretion, you may also include stipulations based on accidental vs neglectful damage and how you will make the determination.
In this final section, your employees sign the agreement. Here, you include the details of the equipment being given as well as employee details like name, job title, department, and more. Enter detailed information about any electronic devices, including the make and model, serial number, memory capacity, and product number. Briefly recap the employee’s responsibilities toward company equipment and have the employee sign and date the agreement at the bottom.
Bring Your Own Device
It’s not always necessary to provide equipment for employees, especially when working from home. If your employees will use their own cell phones and laptops for work, it’s wise to create a Bring Your Own Device policy.
Benefits of a BYOD Policy
There are many reasons to consider a BYOD policy. Here are some of the top benefits:
- Save money on equipment. You do not have to pay for new devices when employees use their own.
- Employees use devices they are familiar with, saving time and effort on learning new systems.
- Flexibility to access the devices at any time.
Considerations of a BYOD Policy
BYOD policies certainly benefit the company and employee, but they also come with some risks. For one, there’s a security risk when employees use their own devices. Your company won’t be able to monitor activity to ensure the security of company information. It’s also unclear who should be responsible for repairs or replacements if the employee loses the device while being used for work.
Create BYOD Agreement
To mitigate the risks of a BYOD policy, create an employee agreement first. Creating a BYOD policy is very similar to a general company equipment agreement. State what is an acceptable use of the device for professional tasks.
Many security sections for a BYOD agreement will also state that the devices have to be password protected at all times with a strong password. Create a procedure for which devices can connect to the company network and how employees should handle lost devices that contain company information.
Dictate who is responsible for any extra costs and if your company will reimburse part of the cost of the device since it’s being used for work. Be specific about your policy, what you will and will not cover, and to what extent.
Provide information for the IT personnel to contact with any network connectivity issues. Ideally, have your IT team review any devices proposed for BYOD to ensure compatibility. Create a list of permissible tablets, smartphones, and laptops.
Create your Equipment Agreement Today
Whether you plan to lend company equipment, allow BYOD, or do both, you need a clear agreement with employees. A company equipment agreement will ensure that employees understand acceptable equipment use and what their responsibilities are. It will prevent any later confusion, and help to keep your devices in the best possible condition. A BYOD agreement will help employees keep company information secure on their personal devices.
Most modern companies should have an agreement that covers both company equipment and BYOD devices. The checklist above is a helpful guide for creating your own policy, but if you still need some help BLM Technologies is here for you.