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Leavers in a remote world of work

Hi all, hoping for some insights here as we continue to refine the way things work as a remote first company. Employees obviously have laptops but then also we’ve organised desks/chairs/other equipment for those who needed it - when you have leavers are you requesting all of it be returned? Obviously laptops/phones/iPads etc have to be returned but I’m thinking more along the lines of desks etc here. Is anyone letting people keep stuff, or giving them the option to pay to keep it depending on how long they’ve worked for the company etc? Would be keen to understand what different companies are doing so any insights would be really helpful - thank you in advance!

Chalk it up as a sunk cost. You don’t want to be that future employee who gets a used chair, it’s a bad taste in a leaver’s mouth if they have to pay off equipment (especially if they’re non-regrettable turnover), and unless it was specified when they first got the equipment that they’d have to return it, then it’s a bit of a bait-and-switch.

In my book, it’s just another onboarding expense.

We look at each case individually, based on what the gear is, how long it’s been loaned, whether or not the employee has requested to keep/buy the gear. In most cases, we collect all of the gear using couriers. In some cases, the employee might donate money to a charity that we support and keep the gear.

Forget the equipment for a moment and consider the confidential information on it. Returning it is not a perfect solution–people can use a flash drive to copy things off–but if you have confidential information on the machine or proprietary information, consider returning the machine.

+1, Learning Whisperer. Keep. I’d also consider whether the equipment has a taxable benefit to the employee.

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We’ve given people a home office stipend (as a gift and not returnable) and encouraged people to buy the bulky items using the stipend. It’s made it easier for the HR folks too because we don’t have to organise purchase and courier of the equipment.

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