Purchases

From time to time we need to make purchases to help us do our jobs. Those purchases can include hardware (laptop, phone, keyboard), software, training or attending a conference.

We don't set an annual limit for each of us to spend, instead we have a peer review process that asks whether the purchase is necessary, whether there is a better alternative and whether it's beneficial for the business. To make money we need to spend money, we just need to make sure we make wise decisions.

So, if you want to make a purchase simply drop an email to your team or drop a note in the general channel in Slack explaining what you want to buy, the benefits, the cost, and be prepared for the responses!

Once your purchase has been peer approved you can (preferably!) purchase it yourself with your Pleo card, or send the details to Steve and he'll place the order for you.

•• Note: holiday homes, cars and private jets cannot be expensed.

An 'equipment menu'

We all need the right tools to get the job done. That varies from job to job, from role to role.

However, from our experience, there are number of common things that tend to be helpful tools and this equipment menu us a good place to start. Every purchase of equipment needs to go through a peer review, just to make sure we're asking the right questions and benefitting from experience and our shared wisdom.

Laptops

We are agnostic of the computer you should use — the right tool for the right job.

That being said, most of us use Apple MacBook laptops of one kind or another. We have an Apple Business account to make buying and supporting our Apple equipment simple.

However, a few of us have other laptops — Linux machines work well for development-heavy roles, and we're trialing Microsoft Surface Book as an option, too.

Phones and tablets

Most of us need a phone to help with our job. We need it:

  • for our calendars, for scheduling and meeting people

  • for staying in touch with each other, and with our apps and tools when on the move

  • for tethering, sometimes, when working away from home

  • with a good phone, attending events without a laptop is do-able

  • and more

Again, most of us have Apple phones, and our Apple Business account can help you get the right one. We prefer people not to have Android phones, as the security of apps in the app store is notoriously poor.

Some people may need a tablet for their work, for testing purposes, and we are open to that, subject to a peer review.

Audio

We do lots of video and audio calls, and a good desktop microphone+speaker device is invaluable. We tend to use Jabra speakers.

Many of us get a good pair of earphones as well, to use for calls when we're working free range. There's so many options here that it's probably wise to ask in the #peer-review Slack channel for some suggestions and advice — there's some research that colleagues have done, and things we've tested out.

Home office

We all need a good desk at home to work on, and a good chair to sit in to help us have a good home working environment.

Many of us have a standing desk and an ergonomic chair. Ask for advice in the #peer-review Slack channel — many of us have thought long and hard about the right thing to get.

Many of us have external keyboards, mice, or trackpads for our home office. Most have an external monitor. Some have a Roost laptop stand (or something similar) for using the laptop in the home office. The Roost laptop stand packs down fairly small, so it's useful if you're going to be traveling for a few days.

Equipment for your role

There's some equipment you may need specifically to help you in your work in your role. For this, you may have things you know you want, but it's always helpful to ask colleagues for their suggestions and pointers.

User research equipment

You'll probably need a camera, to record interviews. Something like a GoPro might be useful.

You may also need an audio-only recording device, for situations where research candidates do not want to be on video. Often an audio recording app on a phone is good enough, though you may want some sort of plugin microphone for higher quality audio.