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I have accepted a job and the company is sending me a machine, monitor, keyboard, and other electronic equipment. For reasons outside of my control, this equipment will not be available before my agreed-upon start date. I do not have a personally-owned machine and my existing machine is property of my university (and will be returned to them in about a month).

Should I request to delay my start date over this? And are there any consequences of this to be aware of? I actually would love to have a delayed start date and am not worried about financial implications of it. This is my first job after grad school so I want to be sure not to mess anything up.

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    Have you contacted your manager and asked about this ? It is up to him. If you are an hourly employee, then likely they won't pay you while you are not doing any work because the machine is not available for you. But, if you are a salary employee, and the machine is only late for a few days, then probably the manager can decide (and likely he would not want to fix the start date). Apr 3 at 21:03
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    Who should be deemed responsible for these reasons "outside you control"? The delivery company? Your future employer? Anyway a good start would be to actually explain the situation to your future employer and ask what to do, suggesting a delayed start if that's your preferred outcome (but that also is not in your hands...)
    – Laurent S.
    Apr 3 at 22:35
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    So it sounds like you're working from home instead of in the office. Does your future employer know about your equipment delays?
    – neubert
    Apr 3 at 23:30
  • @Job_September_2020 The IT department directly ordered the computer. They know the equipment is being delayed but seem to expect me to use my personal machine temporarily. I don't have a personal machine and the only one I have is property of my university.
    – newjob301
    Apr 4 at 17:12
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Should I request to delay my start date

No, the problem is out of your control. You should inform them that there is a problem if you think they don't know. But these logistics are not your responsibility and many other processes may hinge on your start date which are also out of your control.

So any such request should come from the company and it's unlikely they will make one. They may send some training materials or other documents for you to get familiar with instead, or even organise a temporary solution of some sort since you will be on the payroll.

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    My personal recommendation is not to adjust your start date. It really messes with payroll to shift you back that couple days, since payroll is usually done in advance, and it risks messing it so much that you may be delayed payment by weeks. The company will have things for you to do even without equipment. They'll send you employee handbook, have you do meetings with your team, and what not. You can temporarily use your university equipment for basic things like Zoom meetings, get Email, and print things out.
    – Nelson
    Apr 4 at 3:55
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    Response to comments, cause I like the answer : Not sure if OP will actually have a personal computer when starting, the timeline is not clear, uni computer will be returned in 1 month, but when the new job should start is unknown. Also I definitely wouldn't want to start a new job in a library or internet cafe. Starting remote is already challenging enough, let alone in a public place. Also a VPN access might be needed, some setup to be done, etc...
    – Laurent S.
    Apr 4 at 15:44
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    @LaurentS. My start date is two weeks before I have to return the uni machine. This is a fully remote company and have been remote for years (way before COVID influenced people to become remote.)
    – newjob301
    Apr 4 at 17:13
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    Yeah, you just remind them you don't have a computer till they get you one. They'll expedite one or push your start date or get something else for you to do - that's their call.
    – mxyzplk
    Apr 4 at 17:21
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    Thanks for the perspectives everyone! This is my first job coming out of grad school and so stuff like this isn't always obvious to me. I'll definitely just remind my manager and let them figure it out.
    – newjob301
    Apr 5 at 1:23

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