Starting in March 2020, many young professionals found themselves suddenly working from the dining room table or couch. More than 12 months into a global pandemic, some are still working from home, perhaps permanently.
But the haphazard Amazon box stacked on top of the kitchen counter doesn’t really cut it as a sustainable standing desk anymore, but it can be intimidating to advocate for what you need to work effectively at home. So what’s okay to ask for, and how do you do it?
Some employers have proactively stepped up to provide subsidies, reimbursement and office supplies, and most at least have these topics on their radar. Generally, it’s totally appropriate to ask for reimbursement or support for the Internet (at least a portion of it and any sort of VPN if your job needs it), a desk and chair, computer and monitor, and a headset/mic. If you’ve already purchased these items, keep your receipts and ask for reimbursement (or at least partial).
When asking for materials or reimbursement, be sure to explain how these materials will help you do your job better and more efficient, and be prepared to get creative. Maybe your employer has a stockpile of monitors or desk chairs from conference rooms and you can take your pick, or if you have a cost effective option already priced out, they may be open to allowing that purchase.
You may also be entitled to certain equipment as part of reasonable accommodations, so be sure to engage with your company’s HR department if this may apply. Good people are any organization’s greatest asset and cutting in-and-out with shotty Internet access isn’t in anyone’s best interest. Whatever your situation, advocate!