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Equipped with Empowerment: How to Improve Employee Satisfaction with Work Equipment Policies

Employee satisfaction plays a huge role in company culture and morale. It impacts productivity, fosters commitment, and drives performance.   

That said, it’s no surprise we take satisfaction with company-provided equipment seriously.  

While there is no formula or blueprint for successful IT hardware management, we’ve learned that listening, soliciting feedback, and making changes will bring results. 

Over the years, we’ve changed how we provide the right hardware to our team, and we’ll continue to iterate as our business grows and evolves.  

Whether you’re a business or technical leader at your company, our hope is that by sharing some of our history and policies, we can spark ideas for improvements within your own process. 

Equipment Upgrades

Computing Devices

Some time ago, we learned a good number of our employees enjoyed gaming outside of work and had impressive rigs at home.  

At that point, some personal gaming set-ups were preferable to our office computers for programming. Acting upon this discovery, we began investing in high-end computing devices and gathering user input on preferred operating systems and form factors. 

This not only increased overall employee satisfaction, but it also helped improve productivity. 

Noise Cancelling Headphones 

As our company grew, the shared work environment here in the office (or what we refer to as ‘the bullpen’) became a little noisy as teams collaborated and worked on projects together. 

frogslayer bullpen

For those in the bullpen not engaged in conversation, this made concentration difficult. Standard issue headphones were no longer cutting it.  

Acting on an employee suggestion, we tried out some noise cancelling headphones – which received rave reviews, so we began purchasing them for everyone. 

Keyboard & Mouse 

A trend of employees bringing their own keyboards and mice to work caught our attention. While we knew that meant it was time for some upgrades, this area of hardware had so many options and preferences that we couldn’t find a single solution for everyone. 

So, we started letting new employees select the keyboard and mouse they would like us to purchase, allowing personal preference to be accounted for. 

Around this same time, we also started allowing employees to choose which noise cancelling headphones they would prefer. 

Empowering Employees Both In-Office and Remote

During the pandemic, we completely transitioned to remote work, sourcing everything from desks and chairs to laptops and accessories to allow our employees to continue working at the highest level of comfort and productivity. 

After brainstorming ideas and multiple iterations, we implemented the Frogslayer home office allowance with the following specifications:  

  • The allowance was set up on a virtual credit card for each employee, which could be spent on peripheral equipment and furniture at their discretion. By putting a dollar number on what they could buy, employees who were hesitant to ask for too much were now empowered to spend. 
  • Additional money gets added quarterly, which allows for purchasing replacement equipment, upgrades, or paying for repairs. 

As people began returning to the office post-pandemic, the home office allowance remained in effect for those who planned to remain remote. 

In-office employees could also partake in the program with funds available for a custom keyboard, mouse, or headphones to complement their company-provided desk setup. 

For a moment, we felt like we cracked the code for employee satisfaction. The results after implementing this policy were as follows:  

  • A 100% “yes” rating on a survey question “I have the equipment I need to do my work right.” 
  • IT saved time on ordering, shipping, repairing, and maintaining equipment. 
  • The financial budget went from being all over the board to predictable.

Shifting Back to Work In-Office

As the office re-opened, we struggled with our in-office vs. remote designations. 

We wanted employees to choose the most productive place to work without the allowance swaying the decision. As a result, we did away with designations and put all employees on the same program. 

Moving forward, everyone would receive the same amounts added to their allowances (an increase for employees formerly designated as “in-office.”) We also changed from quarterly to yearly additions to lower admin time involved. 

For new hires, we lowered the starting amount, assuming that if you planned to work remotely, you would already have a desk and chair. 

Final Thoughts

Empowering employees can improve morale, productivity, and overall satisfaction. By allowing our teams to make hardware decisions for themselves, they inherit the responsibility for those decisions and take ownership of their setup.  

The reduced costs of IT overhead (thanks to said empowerment) allow us to allocate more resources to high-quality equipment, which in turn results in happier employees. 

As our business grows and employee needs evolve, so will our equipment policy. In our experience here at Frogslayer, that process is best initiated by listening, asking for feedback, and acting on what we’ve learned, so that’s what we’ll continue to do.  

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