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I'm a permanent software developer in the UK. I started a new job at a startup recently, and requested a software tool subscription that makes me more productive, pays for itself, and makes me a happier worker. They shut down the request without even discussing it. Their response was "If we do that, then we'll have to buy extra software for everyone [approx 6 people], and it'll be too expensive". (This is part of a larger pattern by the way: they won't buy second monitors for anyone either.)
I find this attitude worrying. It's like they don't understand what the word "productivity" means in "productivity tool".
I didn't try to continue the discussion at that point, but I may go back and ask them about it again, particularly as I don't want to work in my trade using the alternative substandard tool; a different employer who will buy the tool would be preferable. Or as a contractor I could just buy myself the tool.
What's a good strategy for talking to them about this again? I've done the maths and I can see that this tool pays for itself if it saves me at minimum 1 minute 50 seconds of time a day, which I'm very certain it does. (Another way of looking at it: the annual software subscription costs the same as my salary for one day of my work.)
How can I present my case? I appreciate that there's no 'money saved' value that will appear anywhere to comfort financial controllers; they just see the cost of the software license.
Also, if they refuse to discuss this further, am I being hasty in regarding this a red flag for them as a tech employer?