Do you mind when a cow-orker uses your computer?

Didn’t want to hijack the thread regarding guests using one’s computers in one’s home, but I’ve often wondered: do you consider your work computer “your” computer? Do you feel weird about using someone else’s?

In my case, I have an office in one building and typically work in two other buildings. Office space is tight, and some areas with “closed” computer systems have more people working than available computers, so I feel no hesitation about going into someone’s office and, if they’re not logged in, logging in (everyone has a roaming profile) and doing my business. Since I have no computer to call my own, I save all documents to the main server, which has the added benefit of being automatically backed up.

Obviously, I feel less hesitation when using other engineers’ computers, but I occasionally go into various managers’ offices; some managers lock their doors, but the majoriity don’t. I never use any secretaries’ computers, nor the managers they’re guarding. Not sure why, but I believe that one must always suck up to secretaries.

(Sometimes I download a full build of our software, along with a set of simulations, comprising about 1.5 GB, because I’ll be debugging as many as three threads at once, pinning the CPU use at 100% for a few hours. That stuff needs to be done from the local drive. Then, when I’m done, I archive anything that I changed back onto the server. It’s a PITA, but that’s my environment.)

Needless to say, I do not consider any computer at my work to be “mine,” not even the unclassified PC in my real office that no one but me uses. I assume that the IT guys and/or security people can read any and every file in my server folders and/or local folders on computers I visit, and it’s never been otherwise. I rely on them to deal responsibly with “Company Private” files and other related information, and I keep such documents in private folders, accessible only by me and any of the dozen or so admins who may wander in.

So, how territorial are you about your work computer? Am I working in a particularly rigid environment, or is it pretty much the same anywhere?

Where I work (central government Department) we have a completely open workspace. No-one owns their own desk - you have a drawer and you pick a desk for the day based on availability. Most people tend to sit roughly in their teams and some people seem to sit at the same desk every day, but no-one (including the Permanent Secretary of the Department) has their own desk. As a result no-one has their own computer and our profiles are 100% roaming. Given the regulatory requirements we are under for information sharing and archiving everyone has to save their information into our documents management system too.

So for me the question is a bit academic, since I don’t have my own computer for someone to use.

We all have our “own” computers and workstations (some offices, some “open” offices) and I really don’t mind as long as I don’t know about it.

That doesn’t make a lot of sense, right?

Basically, I feel free to use others’ computers if they aren’t around but wouldn’t if they are. I expect the same treatment from the others.

People in jobs like mine seem practically to own the PCs on their desks or in their briefcases, although we understand the company technically owns them.

I wouldn’t start using somebody else’s unless I asked them first, and I’d have some kind of reason (“Could I use your PC a minute? Mine is being repaired.”).

It feels a bit awkward when someone is using mine because it happens so rarely, though the opposite is very common. The main work at my office is writing (which is done on Windows PCs) and design (done on Macs). None of the designers touch the initial writing, so they have no need to use one of the PCs. The writers, however, very frequently have to do proofreading and make changes to text already set into a layout, so we’re always using their Macs.

Ha, emotionally I don’t very much care for it, the computer tends to feel like my computer. And not so much now, but when I first started working I was usually the most technically adept person in the office which meant that my computer was great and everyone else’s was kind of a mess and I cringed at the thought of someone screwing up mine while they were using it. Even though technology has improved enough to protect one’s computer from even the most clueless of coworkers, that anxiety still lingers.

But I know my computer and all the data on it belongs to my employer, so I make a great effort to be sure to act that way. I also make that a big part of training for new employees, to make sure everyone is aware that other people can and will use their computers on occasion.

I worked in IT so everyone had their own computer on their desk but if one crashed the person would temporarily use one belonging to someone that was out sick or on vacation. Everyone had it drummed into their heads that they weren’t their computers and nothing on them could be considered private. No one could go into the managers’ offices without specific permission though, because we had personnel information that had to stay private. I don’t mind if people use my computer when I’m not around as long as they don’t eat or sneeze when they’re using it.

My computer is the accounting computer. Anyone who wants to use it better get permission and be prepared to have me checking up on what they did. Internet usage is strictly forbidden.

Someone once used it to go on myspace. She was immediately fired.

Certain members (or member) of my IT department will just hop onto my computer unasked, and start using it while it’s logged into my profile.

I don’t mind. As long as I haven’t been sneaking a look at youtube or have remembered to close the page full of very-large-breasted oriental women that someone linked to on a forum.

Where I work something called ‘hot desking’ is fairly commonplace. So many people can potentially use my computer (with their roaming profile). But my computer has certain software on it which I sometimes need to use, so if on the off chance someone is using it, I can boot them off and say I need to use it. This doesn’t happen much as mine is one of the least hot-desked computers (and the most powerful computer outside the IT dept)

That’s a bit harsh. On the rare occasions surf-control is down, people who use myspace at our place will get a telling off by email.

It would take something more serious than that to fire them, downloading torrents for example.

My work computer isn’t mine any more than the chair I sit on. I do password protect what few personal files I store on my work computer. But if someone needs a computer and I’m not using it, have at it.

There is one slob that I hated to use my station computer. His computer had a layer of filth covering the keyboard and I always washed with soap after touching his keyboard. Most of the filth was his body fluids like spittle chewed food and snot. This manager sucked spit between his lips as a nervous habit when around people or by himself.

We have several shared computers. If you want your own computer, you buy it. I own a laptop that I bring into work. It’s mine. No touch. :mad:

It’s locked when I’m not at my desk. Not completely secure, obviously, as one could restart it off a CD and access whatever. Maybe I should have a BIOS password or something.

I don’t know how to do encrypty things with my files.