Businesses are starting to let employees use privately owned laptops for work purposes, according to a Gartner survey of 500 IT managers in the UK, Germany and the US.

On average, 10 percent of the laptops at the respondents' organisations were employee-owned, the Gartner report said, and the IT managers said they expect that percentage to creep higher next year.

Some employees like the trend because it means they can have more-powerful laptops and newer designs than their companies' IT departments provide, Gartner said. For employers, it can mean lower costs.

The survey found that 47 percent of workplaces have banned employee-owned PCs, 43 percent have policies that allow the use of employee-owned PCs for work-related purposes, and 10 percent have no policy on the matter.

Gartner noted some variations from country to country: More than 60 percent of German companies allow the use of employee-owned PCs, compared with 30 percent of companies in the US and the UK.

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Computerworld US