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UK office PCs 'placed on furlough'

(Image credit: Image Credit: Startup Stock Photos / Pixabay)

There’s been plenty of talk about employees furloughed as the result of the Covid-19 pandemic, but what about the devices they used? It appears a significant proportion of business PCs have also effectively been placed on furlough (opens in new tab).

According to a new report from technology lifecycle management firm 3stepIT, a third of desktop PCs have been gathering dust since the UK workforce was sent home.

Further, many businesses were “scrambling” to pay for new gear necessary to support remote working at the start of the pandemic; the majority (78 percent) have since invested in additional equipment.

However, when employees eventually get back to the office, a fifth of desktop PCs will still remain unused.

Roughly half of the businesses polled for the report said that, for the next 12 months, they’ll spend their tech budgets predominantly on laptops, showing a clear shift towards a more mobile workforce.

“Businesses have been forced to rapidly adapt to mobile technology (opens in new tab), to enable remote working and future-proof their operations. Even those businesses who have been able to act nimbly, many have incurred huge costs equipping their people with new digital tools, and many more still face an uphill battle to modernize their tech,” said Carmen Ene, CEO at 3stepIT.

“Redundant business technology represents both an opportunity and risk. We find it often holds residual value which businesses can capitalize on to fund their transition to new, flexible ways of working. But businesses are producing more electronic waste than ever before, with many still dumping or destroying old and unwanted IT. If we don’t see widespread adoption of more sustainable IT practices, these redundant devices could spell disaster for the planet.”

Sead Fadilpašić
Sead Fadilpašić

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.