I do not want to be perceived as overly demanding, high maintenance, or downright lazy in my new job, but I do dislike having to carry/pack any more work equipment than just my Mac Book. Carrying the charger around introduces the possibility of me losing it, and having one charger at home and one at work would make the process of dock alternation really simple. The thing is, Mac chargers are rather pricey (about $50) and I just started the job two weeks ago.

Is this a frivolous request?

  • Have they given you a suitable bag -- one that can easily hold the laptop, charger, and assorted peripherals like video converters and thumb drives? That is, are you sure the laptop is the only thing you'll need to carry back and forth, and if not might you be solving the wrong problem? Aug 19, 2013 at 14:45
  • 7
    The real problem is you being overly concerned about what other people think of you.
    – JoelFan
    Aug 19, 2013 at 17:30
  • 20
    Ask for a second laptop. The second laptop should have its own charger - problem solved. If the bean counters balk, then indicate you can make do with just a second charger. At which point, you can claim credit for saving the company money with your out-of-the-box creativity and thinking.
    – emory
    Aug 19, 2013 at 17:31
  • 5
    What kind of developer does not use distributed version control?
    – emory
    Aug 19, 2013 at 18:24
  • 2
    Why would you be maintaining two DEV environments? You'd be managing two Local environments, but that's okay because you're doing frequent checkins. Right? Right?
    – Adam V
    Aug 19, 2013 at 19:58

4 Answers 4


Is this a frivolous request?

No this request is not frivolous at all, particularly if you perform a fair amount of company work at home on a regular basis. $50 is not a lot to spend to help an employee be more productive.

At my current company, we have many folks who work from home often. They have all been provided with the tools they need to work efficiently - including additional chargers as needed. I have one myself.

If you are wary of approaching your boss, ask one of your co-workers first to see if this is something the company normally provides.

Seems very reasonable to me.

  • 1
    I've managed to collect 5 chargers over the last 8 years. I was issued 2, and IIRC received one more with each new laptop I was given (I assume Dell bundles them in as a standard package). One permanently attached to my docking station at work. A second permanently at home as part of the collection of spaghetti for whenever I choose to work there instead of coming in. A third plugged in at my desk for whenever I have a loaner laptop for something. A forth in my laptop bag for just in case. And a fifth stuffed in a storage bin because I'm a pack-rat and might end up needing it sometime. Aug 19, 2013 at 16:56
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    On top of that, it's quite likely the IT department has a collection of spare adapters from retired/damaged systems that they'd be more than happy to get rid of. Those ones cost the company nothing.
    – Grant
    Aug 19, 2013 at 17:31

By all means, go ahead and ask for a necessary equipment.

  • Having volunteered to expend some of your personal time towards your work, you may expect for tools that would make your work at home comfortable;
  • Working at home for just a single hour would probably make your company a profit bigger than $50;
  • Forgetting a charger at home just once would ruin your entire working day;
  • Many companies set a certain amount of monthly allowance that the employees could spend to improve their working equipment, whatever it can be: paper holders, flowers, or photo frames. If your company doesn't have it yet, you may give a start for this nice tradition.

Ask early and be patient waiting for a result as it may require some time to arrange.


On average, I find the macbook chargers to be around $30. dx.com

I agree with the comment that you think to much about what others think. Just plainly ask to your employer "hey, can I get a second charger for home?". No explicit reasoning necessary. If not, just pay 30 bucks yourself for the convenience if you so desire :/. It's not much, especially not when you have a job.

  • 2
    For company equipment it is perhaps the best to use an original charger. Aug 20, 2013 at 5:13

I believe that you should first of all, kindly ask for a charger with either a formal email or a very sincere talk with your employer.

The worst questions are the ones you never ask

I think that if you clearly indicate to your employer your reasoning behind the request as well as how it would increase your productivity, he would gladly arrange for another charger.

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