6 Equipment Return Processes for Remote Employees

Equipment Return Process

In today’s world of remote work, having the right equipment in place for employees is more important than ever. It’s a company’s job to ensure workers are equipped with the tools and resources they need to succeed. But what happens when an employee leaves the company? How do you handle receiving their equipment while they work remotely?

In this blog post, we’ll explore six processes for handling the equipment return process from remote employees. From setting up a clear policy to tracking and accounting for assets, we’ll cover all the steps needed for successful asset management in a virtual workplace. Read on to learn more about how you can make sure your organization has an efficient and secure equipment return process.

#1. Define the equipment return process

When an employee is finished with their equipment, they should contact their Human Resource representative to initiate the return process. The HR team will then coordinate with the IT department to handle processing the request, and disabling access to the equipment.

The  IT representative should supply the employee with a list of all the equipment they are expected to return, as well as any chargers or cables that go with the equipment. Once the employee has checked off all the items on the list, it’s best to photograph equipment prior to packaging. 

You can also utilize Accessed Space to streamline equipment management, return process, and coordination between different teams for offboarding requirements, learn more.

#2. Disable access to devices through your MDM Provider

If your organization uses an MDM provider, you can disable access to devices through the provider’s console. This will prevent employees from accessing company data on their devices once they’ve departed your company. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to the MDM console and select the Devices tab.
  2. Select the device or devices that you want to disable access to.
  3. Click the Disable or Lock button.
  4. Confirm that you want to disable access to the selected device or devices.

If you don’t have a current MDM provider, we strongly encourage you to explore options. Take Jamf Now for example, a very powerful MDM that give you full control of your devices, even devices shipped to your remote employees.

#3. Issue a return shipping label for your employee

If your company uses equipment that needs to be returned at the end of an employee’s tenure, you’ll need to issue a return shipping label. The process for doing this will vary depending on your company’s specific policies, but there are a few general steps you’ll need to follow:

  1. Issue a return shipping label for your employee. This can be done electronically via email or through a physical label that they can attach to the box.
  2. Make sure they include all of the necessary paperwork is included with the equipment. This includes any manuals, cables, or other accessories that came with the equipment.
  3. Have them pack up the equipment securely for shipping if they already have proper shipping supplies (bonus points to them if your employee kept all the original boxes, and packaging from when equipment was first mailed to them).
  4. Affix the shipping label to the outside of the box and schedule a pick-up time with the carrier or have them take to a drop-off location closest to them.
  5. Once the equipment has been picked up, or dropped off, track its progress through transit so you know when it arrives back at your facility or, back to Accessed Space if you use our Equipment Storage & Retrieval process.

#4. Request photos of equipment condition(s)

When returning equipment, it is important for them to take clear and concise photos of all areas of the equipment to properly document its condition. All damages, dents, or scratches should be photographed as well as any areas where there is wear and tear. Any areas of the equipment that are not working properly should also be documented with photos.

Once all photos have been taken, they should be uploaded to a secure location where they can be accessed by the proper return team.

This protects both your company and the departing employee from claims and liability. Damage to equipment could result in the departing employee paying for damages and missing equipment.

#5. Provide or reimburse for shipping supplies

When it comes time for your remote employees to return their equipment, you have a few options for how to handle the shipping. You can either provide shipping supplies for them, or reimburse them for any shipping supplies they purchase on their own, if of course they didn’t keep all the original shipping boxes.

If you choose to provide shipping supplies, make sure to include everything they will need to safely pack and ship the equipment back to you. This should include things like boxes, packing material, and labels. You may also want to consider providing insurance in case of any damage during transit. Try Accessed Space’s equipment retrieval process! We will ship box(s) to your departing employee. Ship to your location, or opt to store your equipment at our warehouse.

If you would prefer that your employees purchase their own shipping supplies, be sure to let them know ahead of time so they can budget for it. You can also set a limit on how much you are willing to reimburse them for. Either way, make sure you provide clear instructions on how you would like the equipment to be returned.

Some shipping providers allow your company to utilize packing and shipping services, FedEx has been a great choice for many. Employees take all equipment to a FedEx location, they pack-n-ship all equipment securely and bill your corporate FedEx account, so employee’s are not charged at all during the return process and no reimbursement needed.

#6. Schedule a pick-up or drop-off time with your preferred shipping provider

When it comes time to have employees return your equipment, you have two options: shipping or drop-off. If you elect to give them options, if they choose to use a pick-up service, you will need to have them schedule a pick-up. 

Or utilize drop-off with your preferred shipping provider. Be sure to have them pack all of your equipment carefully so that it arrives safely at its destination.


Returning equipment for remote employees can be a complex process. However, with the right processes in place and appropriate guidelines for when to return and how to do so safely, you can ensure that your business’s valuable assets are returned properly.

These six tips provide you with ideas on what policies and procedures you should establish to make sure all of your company’s work-related equipment is returned without issue. Implementing these strategies will help streamline the equipment return process for both employers and employees alike!