Diff’rent strokes, for diff’rent employees.

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03Jun2010

Diff’rent strokes, for diff’rent employees.

  • By Andrew Garrett
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Not all staff are the same. Some are paid more, some are paid less. Some wear suits and have big offices, some wear jeans and work in cubicles. Some spend 8 or more hours a day at their desks while others stop in at the office for a couple of hours twice a week.

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There’s a temptation to treat everyone the same, with regards to what computer they get. As attractive an idea as this is in theory, in practise it doesn’t work out well.

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While your receptionist can get by with a 15″ screen, your book keeper might need something larger, as complex spreadsheets can be a lot easier to work on if you can see the whole sheet at once. Your sales manager might need a laptop for on the road, with a big screen for when she’s in the office, while your lead programmer has a top of the line workstation with multiple monitors, which stays in the office when he goes home.

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Forcing everyone to use the same equipment can look like it benefits your bottom line – you spend less, so you have more profit; It seems like a simple equation. Unfortunately, what that doesn’t take into account is basic productivity, something that’s very hard to measure.

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Simply put, some people will produce more, with the right equipment. Others, it doesn’t matter what IT equipment they use, they’ll produce the same amount.

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There’s a morale issue at play here too: your best employees care about the work they produce for you, and by supplying them with quality tools, you’re saying that you care about their work, you’re saying that you value them enough to spend money to help them work better.

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Supplying everyone with the same equipment is a false economy.

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