Personal PCs find a home in the office

Privately owned notebooks becoming popular for office work

Companies are starting to let employees use privately owned notebook computers for work purposes, according to a Gartner Inc. survey of 500 IT managers in the U.S., U.K. and Germany.

On average, 10% of the notebooks at the respondents' organizations were employee-owned, the Gartner report said, and the IT managers said they expect that percentage to creep higher next year.

Some employees like the trend because it means they can have more-powerful notebooks and newer designs than their companies' IT departments provide, Gartner said. For employers, it can mean lower costs.

The survey found that 47% of workplaces have banned employee-owned PCs, 43% have policies that allow the use of employee-owned PCs for work-related purposes, and 10% have no policy on the matter.

Gartner noted some variations from country to country: More than 60% of German companies allow the use of employee-owned PCs, compared with 30% of companies in the U.S. and the U.K.

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