As more and more people are working entirely from home, it has become increasingly common for people to wonder if they can just use their work laptops for personal tasks. There are many different kinds of situations that can come into play when you are considering this solution for your remote work needs. Being aware of the limitations of this possible method of getting personal things done is important.
There are some companies that will allow you to use your work device during your personal hours, but you will want to verify with your employer that this is allowed. Making assumptions about this kind of personal hours solution can actually lead to you being fired for compromising company security.
What To Do If You Want to Use Your Work Machine for Personal Things
There are various things that you need to do before you choose to use your work laptop for personal things not related to work. You will need to reach out to your IT department at your job and ask which things are allowed. You might be able to use email and some other basic sites for personal things on your work laptop; however, many companies do not want you to do anything non-work related on their devices.
The risk of bringing viruses and other kinds of security risks into the company network is huge when you use your work laptop for personal functions. You should never do anything personal while your laptop is connected to the company network, at a minimum. Be aware that transmitting a virus or engaging in inappropriate online behavior on a company device can lead to you being fired.
Always ask to see the company’s policy about the use of laptops for anything but work. You will find that most companies are quite specific about what is allowed to be done with their machines when you are on your personal time. Remember as well that the IT department can see what you have been up to and that they are allowed to take the laptop back and check your user history.
Many people forget that their work laptops do not actually belong to them. They are just on loan from the company and should be treated as such. Working hours are for work only, and you will need to use your phone or your personal computer for personal things in most cases.
Be Sure That You Are Careful When Using Your Work Laptop for Personal Things
There are so many reasons that you should avoid using your work laptop for anything personal. The risk to your security, as well as the risks to the company’s network, are not acceptable in most cases. Since your phone can do most of what a laptop can do, you should not need to use your work machine to take care of personal browsing, online shopping, or any other process that is not related to work.
This article was last updated on April 10, 2023 .