We often receive devices and equipment to perform our jobs. Laptops. Tablets. Phones. Follow business equipment rules to keep your devices right.

Business equipment rules. How to keep work devices. Office and workplace etiquette tips.

1) Keep a record of your business equipment

One day you might have to return your equipment. If you leave the company. Or you need to change a device. Keep a record of the devices and equipment that you receive. Some companies have strict policies and might charge you for any missing equipment.

Some employers will ask you to fill and sign a form or receipt when you receive equipment. Keep a copy of it. If your company has an equipment policy, read it carefully.

If you leave your company, ask for a receipt when you return the business equipment. 

2) Keep business devices clean and safe

Clean your business equipment often. Once a week is a good norm. More on workplace hygiene here.

Turn devices off every day. Phones can be an exception. Do not leave your laptop on for over 24 consecutive hours. 

Keep business equipment away from heat, water, and anything that may damage it. Do not leave devices outdoors. Keep drinks and food distant. You risk spilling and damaging the equipment. 

Place devices on solid and steady surfaces. Prevent the risk of them falling to the ground.

3) Pay attention to security

The key business equipment rules relate to security. 

Lock your devices any time you leave them. Even if you leave your desk for just a minute, lock your laptop, tablet, or phone. An unlocked device allows anyone to access your files, email, and personal accounts. You never know who might have malicious intent. 

If you leave your devices in the office, place them in a secure and locked place. Do not leave business equipment loose and unguarded. Pay extra attention in open space offices.

Apply the same care if you bring business equipment home. Do not leave your devices unguarded in public spaces. Cafes. Bars. Cars. Public transportation. Keep your devices with you. 

Do not allow anyone to use your work devices. Even in your presence. 

If you have kids, keep business equipment far from their reach.

4) Limit the personal use of business equipment

Check your employer’s policy. In some companies, personal use of business equipment is against the rules. Others are flexible.

In any case, limit and control your personal use of work devices.

Apply extra care for:

  • Downloads.
  • Files you open.
  • Online pages you visit. 
  • Links you click.

Group all your files in a personal folder. If you have to return or change the device, it will be easier to retrieve and remove them. 

Avoid using work accounts for personal use. It is best to avoid using your work email for personal use. Apply the same rule to any software, service, or product that you are using for work.


  • Agreement to Return and Care for Company Equipment- Template: shrm.org