I work for a big publicly traded company which has a net income of several millions of dollars. After an office ergonomic evaluation, it was recommended that I be given 3-4 computer accessories (common models for each one are close to $50 or less) so that I can have better posture and avoid occasional pain due to work. There is no recommendation for fancy equipment such as split keyboards etc and I also believe that I don't need it.

My manager asked me to reach out to concerned person with a list of accessories that I would need. He asked me why I would need a wireless keyboard instead of a wired one and I mentioned convenience of not dealing with wires and portability. He asked me to get a wired one instead because it would meet my needs. His tone seemed a bit dismissive, so I did not bother ask him why he insisted on wired keyboard and that wireless options are almost the same in cost.

Anyway, its been several months and I have not received anything yet. I already got some of my home equipment at work and I am thinking of buying the rest of it soon.

How can I deal with such a boss and still try to get my request across ?

PS - Our company had mentioned that they have planned layoffs of several hundreds of people in the next 2 years. It is highly unlikely that I will be laid off, but there are no guarantees. I am not sure if that could be a reason why they are going so slow about it. Moreover, our entire office was supposed to get big screens and such, but that has not happened for several months.

  • 1
    Have you asked your manager about it since? And if so, have you tried any of the advice on this question on how to word it? And were you specifically singled out by this evaluation or was it more "Everyone working # hours behind a screen should be able to request X, Y and/or Z."?
    – Lilienthal
    Apr 9 '18 at 21:10
  • 1
    buy it yourself and steal office supplies to offset your costs. /s
    – dandavis
    Apr 10 '18 at 1:29
  • Were these just a wireless, but otherwise regular, keyboard + mouse? Or were they in some way adapted? Note that many companies don’t use wireless keyboards because of security risks. Apr 10 '18 at 6:30
  • This is why carpenters buy their own tools.
    – user8365
    Apr 10 '18 at 12:58
  • @dandavis Please resubmit your comment as an actual answer. TIA. Apr 11 '18 at 12:55

Manager lets you buy a $100 keyboard, you are happy, and happy people tend to be more productive. Manager tries saving $100, you are unhappy, and unhappy people tend to be less productive. Manager slashes productivity by saving $100.

As posted elsewhere, the manager seems to have the goal "spend as little as possible". A nice, measurable goal. Whereas "keep your team productive" is apparently not a goal because it is much harder to measure.

How do you deal with such a boss? You live with it, until you find a better job at a better place. You're not going to change that boss.


The company aren't really interested in what you want, only what you need. If you have a disability, or are likely to suffer a work-related injury through using unsuitable equipment, then they may care. Otherwise, you're just driving up their costs.

If it's a big company, then I expect you can't just pop down the local computer store and charge it to expenses. Where I work, I would have to raise a purchase order, and get it approved. It would then go to purchasing to order. Some time later, the keyboard would arrive at goods inwards, who would inspect it before sending it on to me. Then purchasing would have to pay the invoice from the supplier. That's a whole bunch of people doing work and costing the company money, just so I can have a fancier keyboard.

If the company is planning on laying off hundreds of people, then that suggests that their profits are not as good as hoped, regardless of the turnover. This isn't the time to be asking for fancy computer accessories.

  • If the company is so cheap as to cut cost on productivity upgrades, then what's stopping them from cutting employees and then consolidating jobs just to save some money?
    – Dan
    Apr 10 '18 at 16:27
  • @Dan The company will only be interested in "productivity upgrades" if (a) they will earn more money than they cost the company, and (b) they are real productivity upgrades, and not the developer just wanting the latest new shiny bit of kit.
    – Simon B
    Apr 10 '18 at 16:37
  • I think a take-home point here is if you request fancy peripherals, have a business reason for needing them. That you dislike extra cables is a personal reason, for example. Now if your keyboard lacked a numpad like some do (especially laptops), that's extremely detrimental to lots of jobs.
    – CKM
    Apr 11 '18 at 14:15

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