Most remote workers stuck with broken laptops and smartphones

Woman angry at her laptop
(Image credit: fizkes / Shutterstock)

The majority of remote workers are having to make do with outdated and broken devices, new research suggests.

According to a report from EuroPC, a seller of refurbished devices, 67% of people are using faulty hardware to conduct business at home, to the detriment of their productivity.

Based on a poll of roughly 2,500 UK employees, the company found business laptops are the most likely devices to break, followed by keyboards, monitors and business PCs.

Remote working devices

In many cases, the reason employees are willing to put up with faulty hardware is that they are responsible for the breakage in the first place.

EuroPC revealed that roughly two-fifths of people damage hardware given to them by an employer. In most instances (67%), devices are damaged as a result of food and drink spillages, while others point the finger at their partners, housemates or pets.

More than half (56%) of respondents said they had attempted but failed to repair broken devices, while 81% were content to keep using a faulty device, because the issue only affected some features.

Instead of reporting a breakage to their employer, for fear of punishment, a large proportion of workers (34%) choose to work from their personal laptops instead. However, the use of unmanaged devices by remote employees opens up a whole host of security risks, because sensitive files travel beyond the view of the IT department and personal hardware is unlikely to be protected by enterprise-class antivirus services.

Predictably, EuroPC reckons the solution to the problem is for businesses to purchase refurbished products, which it says offer the same level of performance as brand new devices but at a much lower cost.

The thinking is that, if employees are less worried about the cost of replacing broken hardware, they might be more likely to report issues in the first place, heading off productivity and security issues that might arise as a result.

Joel Khalili
News and Features Editor

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.