When you resign from a job, one of the responsibilities you may have is returning company equipment. This process can vary depending on your employer's policies and the terms outlined in your contract. Here's a general overview of steps you may need to take:
1. Inventory Your Company Equipment: Make a list of all the company-owned equipment you have. This could include laptops, monitors, mobile phones, software, ID cards, keys, or any other tools or assets provided by your employer for your job.
2. Clarify Return Policies: Check your employee handbook or contract for details on returning equipment. If no explicit policies exist, contact your HR department or supervisor for clarification. You may need to return the equipment directly to your office, send it via mail, or drop it off at a specified location.
3. Prepare Items for Return: Ensure that all items are in good working condition. It's recommended to erase any personal data from electronic devices, but do not remove any company software or files without explicit instruction to do so. Some companies have IT departments that handle this process.
4. Document Everything: As you pack up each piece of equipment, document what you're returning. Take photos or make videos as proof of the item's condition when you returned it. This can be useful if there are any disputes later.
5. Backup Relevant Information: If you've saved important work-related files or contacts on company devices that you might need in the future, ensure you back them up. However, always respect company policies about proprietary information and only take with you what you're allowed.
6. Get Receipts: When you return the equipment, ask for a receipt or written acknowledgment of what was returned and when. This can protect you from potential claims that you didn't return something.
7. Consult Your IT Department: If your company has an IT department, reach out to them for guidance on how to prepare devices for return. They might have specific protocols for decommissioning equipment that go beyond just deleting personal files.
8. Return All Manuals and Accessories: Along with the primary equipment, make sure you return all related accessories and manuals. This includes chargers, cables, earphones, cases, or any other supplemental items provided with the main equipment.
9. Confirm All Return Deadlines: Some companies may set specific deadlines by which all equipment must be returned post-resignation. Ensure you're aware of these timelines to avoid potential penalties or disputes.
10. Follow-up: If you shipped the equipment back, ensure that it arrived. A follow-up email to your HR representative or supervisor confirming that everything was returned properly can be beneficial.
It's crucial to return all company property promptly and in good condition after leaving a job. Not only is this a legal obligation in many cases, but it also helps to maintain a good relationship with your former employer, which can be beneficial for future job references or networking.