Why Buying A Really Nice Laptop Is Worth It For Everyone

How We Built This July 20, 2021 Scott Woods

A typical employee costs the company on the order of $100,000/year to employ. Their computer is not only their primary tool for producing work; it’s now the only way that we interact with that employee, and the way that they interact with our clients. It is literally almost impossible for that employee to provide value to the company, except directly via that computer.

People often wrestle with the cost of a high-end laptop, because they run thousands of dollars. So in order to put that cost in context, I’d like for you to imagine that that employee has been packaged as a monthly service. Their salary has been scaled down by about two orders of magnitude, so the “base model” now costs $100/month. Likewise, the cost of a computer, amortized over a 3-year lifespan, has been added to that proportional base cost as an option.

At that scale, imagine the options for what kind of computer that employee should come with. These are literally the scale of expenses that we are talking about:

No Computer

Cheap Computer

High-End Computer

Must travel to communicate with employee or use phone Fully functioning laptop Top-of-the-line MacBook Pro
Deliverables arrive via USPS or Fedex Medium-speed processor and memory Really great (but not ridiculous) processor and memory
Paper, pencils, and typewriter ribbons not included Reduced resale value Improved productivity
A sense of pride and professionalism about your tools
$100.00/month $100.40/month $100.90/month

How often do we see people try to justify the middle option as a way to “save money?” Ultimately, in the long term, we just don’t see those savings paying off.

“Adding on” a laptop as part of the total cost of a new employee is marginal. The benefit is that your employee will feel valued and have the best tools to be effective at their job. Employees who feel valued and supported in their work will reduce company turnover and improve work culture. What’s that worth?

Obviously, the act of buying a high-end laptop for an employee alone will not make them stay–but I hope that this helps highlight how buying top-of-the-line equipment for employees is a natural practice for high performance organizations.

Did you like this post? Share It!