Equipment

Update October 2020: We’re currently handling all equipment requests on a case-by-case basis in the Expenses Backlog. Although we’re currently not renewing on the usual 2 year cycle, if you are in need of any equipment (either new, replacement, or repair) in order to do your job, please do open an expense issue for it.

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We provide all the equipment you need to do your job effectively. This may include:

  • A new computer.
  • A new mobile phone.
  • A good pair of headphones.
  • An external monitor (if required), keyboard, mouse etc.
  • An ergonomic office chair and desk.
  • Any other equipment needed to work effectively.

Use the following list of reference equipment as a guide, if you need better/more expensive equipment to do your job effectively then please let us know when requesting in the Expenses Backlog.

Laptops

Role recommendations:

  • Engineering roles: MacBook Pro 13″ – Intel chip, 16GB Memory, 512GB SSD Storage (£1800) or equivalent
  • All other roles: Macbook Air 13″ – M1 Chip, 8GB Memory, 512GB SSD Storage (£1249) or equivalent
    • We’re not currently recommending the new M1 Macs for engineering roles due to compatibility issues with some tooling – please see this updates post
    • Laptops are recommended in case you need to travel for work
    • Can be plugged into an external monitor if you work from fixed location.
    • You can request an alternative machine of similar cost to the recommendations below e.g. windows or Linux.
    • This exact model is recommended because at the time of writing it is a stock model and usually available immediately. Customising the spec can often lead to 2-4 week delivery dates so in stock models are often preferable unless you have another machine to use whilst waiting for delivery.
    • You can upgrade to the 16″ pro if you really need the extra screen size or power. This should be discussed with your manager.
    • Other Requests for upgraded machines evaluated by your manager on a case by case basis.

Other Equipment

When you join the company we will purchase you a laptop, phone and headphones. For other items such as office equipment (desk/chair/monitor) we will purchase once your probation period is complete. This is because it’s difficult for us to recover these items if the probationary period is unsuccessful.

N.B. If you would prefer a higher spec phone such as an iPhone 12 Pro, HM will cover the cost if you are willing to renew on a three year cycle instead of every two years. You can either wait until it’s been three years since your last phone purchase or keep the new one for three years. The maximum model you can go up to this way is the iPhone 12 Pro 256GB (£1099), or another make/model that is equal to or less than the cost of an iPhone 12 Pro 256GB in your country. (If you want a more expensive model than this, you should purchase yourself and expense up to the limit, and still submit in the expenses backlog first.)

If you are purchasing from a non-UK retailer, the amount HM will reimburse/cover is the cost of the models (listed above) in that country (whether it’s more or less), not the currency equivalent of the GBP amount.

If you’re unsure what to buy, you might find it helpful to ask others in Slack (in #interests-gadgets for example), before running it past us.

Upgrades

We’ll upgrade your equipment when it’s needed, please do open an expense issue at this time (the guidance here is we expect to upgrade every 2-4 years).

Assets over £500 must be purchased by Human Made and not expensed. Once you know the specs of what you’d like, create an issue in the expenses repo, including the spec of the device and add to the expenses backlog.

It’s fine to purchase second-hand items as long as the seller can provide you with a proof of purchase (doesn’t need to be a VAT/GST invoice).

We maintain a 🔒 list of all company assets.

Insurance

Equipment is covered by company worldwide insurance whether it was purchased by the company or purchased by yourself and expensed. This insurance also covers devices when they’re taken abroad on trips.

What to do if your equipment breaks

If your equipment breaks we want to ensure we get you back up and running as quickly as possible. Please follow the guidelines listed here and reach out in #company-admin if needed:

  • If you don’t have a spare machine you can work from you should notify your PM/Manager as soon as possible, then log any necessary time off in Humaans under ‘Other’ (with an added note)
  • For billable roles your PM will update Forecast
  • For Mac users, see the Apple Help Desk handbook page.
  • You should open an expense issue for the repair, or replacement if it’s needed (it can be marked as urgent and someone should pick it up that day). It’s ok to start the repair/replacement process if it’s urgent and you haven’t received a response. It’s also ok to purchase a new machine if you’re able – this can be returned at a later date if the original machine is repaired
  • Find out your support options. For example you can call Apple or use the online chat feature for quick assistance
  • You could also drop a note into #interests-apple as others may be able to offer advice on possible solutions
  • We have a few spare laptops in different locations so it may be possible to get one to you (we’ll let you know in the expense issue if this is the case)
  • For a costly repair or replacement we will claim on the company insurance so it’s important you obtain a statement of work from the repair provider (we will ask for these details in the expense issue)

Backing up your equipment

You should ensure your data is backed up regularly, please see the guidelines below:

  • Save your data online and commit code regularly
  • We have a company Backblaze account which you can use to automatically and/or manually backup your computer to the cloud.
  • It is OK to expense an external hard drive to create local backups of your machine. Instructions on how to do this can be found for both Mac and Windows operating systems. This is a great alternative solution to using Backblaze if internet connection speed is an issue.

Leaving the company

Computers and phones that were purchased by Human Made remain assets of the company. When you leave the company, one of the following things may happen:

  • You will be able to keep your equipment
  • If you have only been at the company a short period of time, we will ask you to return your equipment. We will arrange to have it shipped to another team member who is in your locale.
  • If you leave the company a short time after your equipment is purchased we may ask you to return it or, if you prefer, to purchase it from us. This will not happen in all cases. If you do purchase it, the total charge will reflect the depreciated value of the equipment (e.g. if it was bought three months ago, you could be asked to return it or purchase it at approximately 7/8ths of the initial price).

This will be decided on a case by case basis, and the decision will reflect criteria such as tenure, age of the equipment, and reason for leaving the company (e.g. someone who leaves because of gross misconduct is unlikely to be allowed to keep their equipment).