The short answer is: Leave it on.
The way IT Support works these days, in-house IT teams and outside consultants count on users to have their machines powered on 24 hours a day. Doing so provides three distinct benefits:
- System Health. Turning a computer off & on many times can cause certain parts of its hardware to wear out faster. We've found that workstations last longer if they're left running. If you’re worried about wasting power, remember that workstations go into sleep mode after a few minutes.
- Background Updates and Backups. Leaving the computer on allows updates to run while you're away, such as automatic backups and security patches. If these run during the workday, they can interfere with your work and impact available bandwidth.
- Malware Defense. Most anti-malware software runs regular scans during off-hours. That way it doesn't slow the workstation down while you're using it. But if you turn the computer off at 5 p.m., the scan can't run. Which means you could go several days without a malware scan! That's plenty of time for a malware app to break in & cause havoc.
The best thing to do when you're ready to go home? Log out of your account, close the laptop, and head out the door. The computer will go to sleep, but is still on, and able to run its necessary maintenance. You return the next day to a nice clean workstation, ready for another day of work.
"How do I know my computer went to sleep?" Most laptops will enter Sleep Mode by default when you close them, or when they're left idle for several minutes. If yours doesn't, it may need a quick settings change. Call your IT department or consultant to take care of this.
We make sure all customer workstations go to sleep by default. That way they're ready for a malware scan after you head home!
Does your office leave their workstations on? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts!