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Facundo Conde
Facundo Conde

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What should I ask for when I WFH

Hi there! I recently got a proposal for a WFH job, and they told me they want me to tell them what I want for the job.
Question is, what it would be correct here to ask? I thought of asking for a laptop, money for food, some % of the bills of internet and electricity, but I'm not sure what is and isn't correct to ask.

Please tell what you think would be correct to ask!

Top comments (8)

michael profile image
Michael Lee 🍕 • Edited

Nice congrats! I would figure out what you need to get your job done.

Usually this includes laptop, peripherals such as mouse, keyboard and external monitor. Also all the adapters/dongles for laptop. I also like to get a laptop stand such as the Roost stand. I would also see if there is a budget for your desk setup. So if you like standing and working, ask for an adjustable desk and also an office chair.

If the company's headquarters is far from where you live, I would ask for Internet as well. Since having a reliable internet is what makes you productive as an employee. You don't want to be dropping off while on meetings, committing code or pairing/mentoring sessions.

If they offer snacks and such at a physical office, I don't think it's too far fetched to ask for a small stipend for snacks. Not sure about food. Most companies that I've worked for doesn't offer meals. So it is all out of pocket. But of course, that doesn't mean you can't negotiate a higher salary to help pay for such things. It would just be an expense for you in the end and not your employers'.

ryan profile image

Asking for a company provided computer is reasonable, especially because your work likely requires a certain computer environment and will have a software policy to follow. As well as any peripherals needed for you work, such as a headset/camera. Some ergonomic equipment too -- I probably wouldn't ask for a $1,000 chair, even though you could reasonably argue it's a worthwhile investment, but any smaller things you need sure.

It's not reasonable to ask for internet because this is a service you would have anyway. (Exception is if you must purchase an upgraded service, for example your work requires a high amount of data transfer, or if you live in a rural area where high speed, reliable connections are not standard.) Electricity usage is negligible (are you really going to ask an employer to itemize a few cents per day?) Food and life expenses are included in your salary, besides if you are working from home you probably save money not eating out as often.

Your employer should only be covering expenses you would not otherwise have, that are necessary for you to work.

avalander profile image

I've never been employed remotely, so my opinion might not be relevant. However, if you want to read it, here it is.

I understand that you're talking about complements to the salary, and not the salary itself. From my perspective, a laptop should be provided by the employer, as well as any other device or software required to do the job. As for the rest, it sounds rather odd. I assume there is no big difference in your food intake, would your receive a salary complement for food or be provided with daily free meals if your were to work at an office? And percentage of the electricity and internet bills sounds like asking a company to pay for one's commute, which is not customary in my area.

As I said, my insight on your situation is rather limited, but if I were in your position I would ask for the equipment required to do the job, a laptop at the very least, and a salary that would make up for any extraordinary expenses the job might create, but I wouldn't ask the company to cover for a percentage of my expenses.

reverson profile image
Robert Everson

I currently work from home, so I'll just list the things I've gotten and/or found useful to have.

Need to haves:

  1. Laptop
  2. Peripherals (Good monitor, good keyboard, good mouse)
  3. Internet, or a portion of it. I have always had a business line for my home, so I didn't need to do any upgrading when I started remote, but this helps make sure you have a good reliable connection
  4. Good headphones and camera. If you'll be having meetings these are required. I use my personal wireless Astro A50s for work, but I would have no qualms expensing a set for work as well as I find them way more comfortable than ear buds, and the mic quality is exceptional (make sure the mic quality is exceptional).

Nice to haves:

  1. Food stipend. My company offers lunch and snacks, so I get the equivalent $ that the company offers per employee per day on a reloadable credit card for lunch and snacks. I use it pretty rarely, but it does help.
  2. Decent chair (I got mine during an Amazon goldbox deal and expensed it). You need a nice chair, but I can see the case that you'll keep it if/when you leave the company.
  3. Decent desk. This is similar to the chair. If you need/want a specific ergonomic setup then I'd definitely mention it, but I also wouldn't expect to send it back when you leave the company.

Don't have:

  1. Electricity. I can see the appeal, but your electricity bill addition from working from home will likely be so minimal that it's hard to justify, unless you are the only one home and now your HVAC needs to run much more frequently. Plus, I think you can deduct this off of your taxes (if you're in the US), and it's based off of the size of your office relative to the house.

Basecamp has their employee handbook on GitHub, and I really like the benefits section of it for their work from home philosophy:

gartboy profile image

I would say ask for a laptop or whatever computer setup you would usually receive in an office. Maybe also a headset/webcam for video conferencing. Nothing else.

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