Tools in the Workplace: Who is Responsible?

I recently was asked by a client to attend an early morning staff meeting. When I arrived at the parking lot, I grabbed my work satchel, locked my car door and started walking towards the main entrance. While walking, I met up with a young employee who was wearing a tailored suit and a very heavy backpack, along with the CEO of the company, who was also wearing a suit, and he was carrying a briefcase.

As soon as we entered the building we were being corralled into the conference room by a staff member. We were all getting settled in, and pouring cups of coffee, and we started opening our work travel gear. The CEO opened up his briefcase and took out several files, and I noticed that there were different colored post-it notes sticking out of each one. He also took out a pad of paper and a pen. The young employee took out his IPad, IPhone and an energy drink from his backpack. I took out my Blackberry, laptop and a bottle of water.

I couldn’t help but look at the three of us and our requisites and smile. Interestingly enough, I often hear from younger employees that they get frustrated when their employer provides antiquated work tools. So how responsible is an employer to make certain that their employees have access to the most current tools that they might need to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively?