I have recently joined a new position (it is my first permanent position) as software developer. I am very picky about right equipments and really like to use my favorite equipments. I feel right tools help me a lot in being productive. Tools I currently need are mouse, mouse pad, keyboard, windows laptop, ergonomic chair. I need preferred model for mouse, mouse pad, and keyboard (nothing super expensive). I am fine with any decent reasonably priced laptop, and a chair. I estimate everything combined will roughly cost just 10 days worth my salary.

Since I am junior and new, I am worried it will be seen bit off if I ask for all of these. How do I properly request them considering so far I have done no work and just asking for stuff? I am okay with buying on my own too.

One of the thing I am also worried is if I get let say ergonomic chair, others might feel discriminated. Why should a new employee get all these stuff while older employees are using old chair.


An important lesson for employees to learn is the difference between their own productivity and the productivity of the team. Let's say that if you use the standard issue chair, mouse, mousepad, and keyboard that you would have a productivity of 90/100, but with your custom preferences you would roar up to 98/100. But what if there are 10 people on your team who would each drop from 90 to 88 because they are irritated at you? That's a drop of 20 units and it wildly outweighs your gain. Ignoring the cost of the equipment you want, clearly management is ahead telling you to use the standard stuff. Or even if your team-mates don't care at all (which is unlikely) will your productivity increase earn the company the cost of this equipment? For a mouse, probably yes. Other things, probably no.

The same principle (your productivity is not as important as team productivity) applies to observations that you're more productive if you work noon-8pm, or 4am-noon, or exclusively from home, or in a different programming language. You often have to accept a setup that is a little distance from your own optimum productivity in order to be available to team-mates, or for meetings, or so that you and your team-mates can substitute for each other on projects. And you often have to agree to use equipment that's good but not great, so that you don't appear demanding, or so that other people can use your equipment in a pinch, or just because the company doesn't have the money for what you consider great.

It doesn't hurt to ask, if they are buying you things, if they can be the models you like. If the things they give you are actively terrible and unusable, you could try asking for different ones. But as a rule, learn how to work with what is provided to you, be as productive as you can be with that, and don't make a big fuss. I have bought people special mice and keyboards, but if you tried to get me to buy a $5000 chair, that's a much bigger request and not one that is likely to succeed. (One employee wanted a special trackball thing; when she left she asked if anyone else was likely to use it and everyone said "no" so (with our permission) she took it with her to the next job.)


Companies should be willing to adapt the workplace for any genuine medical needs, such as back problems or repetitive strain injuries.

But just asking for your favorite make and model of laptop because you will be "more productive" will just label you as a complete diva. It will cost them money to special-order the equipment, and I doubt if anyone will believe you anyway.

  • Favorite model of mouse, mouse pad. I am fine with any decent reasonably priced chair, laptop – VarunAgw Oct 14 '17 at 23:04
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    I don't suppose anyone will care if you bring in your own mouse or mouse pad. But getting them to order one will involve going through the company's purchasing procedure, and may be more trouble than it's worth. – Simon B Oct 14 '17 at 23:10
  • We finally had annual review in December. They didn't said anything about number of items (because I ended up not asking for anything and just bought stuff from my own money). But they said I was bit demanding because I asked them several times for laptop so I can start working (I was unassigned first 2-3 weeks and it felt like punishment to me). But luckily they were more than impressed with my coding skills (I surpassed their expectations way more) so no prima diva :p – VarunAgw Jan 28 '18 at 19:13

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