Asking For a Laptop at Work: How to?

Here’s how to best ask for a laptop at work:

When asking for something like a laptop, it’s often best to make a formal request that is submitted in writing. 

You can create a justification letter that clearly explains your request for the laptop and why it is a good idea for the company to make the purchase. 

Including specific information improves your chances.

So if you want to learn all about how to best ask for a laptop at work, including a sample letter, then this article is for you.

Let’s get started!

Asking For a Laptop at Work: How to? (+ Sample Letter)

How to Think Like a Manager When Asking for a Laptop at Work? (4 Tactics)

Colleagues in modern coworking space

If you want a laptop for work, you are ultimately selling an idea to the person in charge of making the decision. 

Each company has its own structure for these kinds of things. 

For the sake of simplicity, let’s assume your direct boss is in charge of the laptop purchase.

In order to convince them that this is a good idea, you have to sell them.

For managers, there are a few tactics that are more likely to convince them than others.

Essentially, your job is to show them how the money spent on the laptop is good for the company overall.

That means you will need to clearly demonstrate the specific benefits that it provides and put it in clear-to-understand terms.

You don’t have to get into cheesy sales language, and being specific is better than being broad. 

So, instead of saying that a laptop will help you work better and that’s why it’s good, you can get into the nuts and bolts of it all. 

You can actually estimate how much the laptop will help your productivity, how much money it can make the company, and how it will help you grow moving forward.

#1 Productivity Estimates

Young dedicated woman revising papers while working on project at laptop in loft office.

Exactly how will the laptop help you do your job? 

Your justification letter should be designed to explain the answers to this question in detail. 

You want to make estimates about how the laptop will improve your productivity in numbers.

Also, be careful. If you promise that the laptop will double your productivity, your boss might hold you to that. 

So, be realistic and show why a laptop will help you get 10 percent more work done (or whatever the correct number is).

It helps to put this idea in the terms of the work you do. 

If you’re a copy editor, estimate how many more words of content you’ll get through in a week because of the laptop. 

If you process insurance claims, how many additional claims will you do each week because the laptop helps you work better?

You get the idea.

#2 Return of Investment

Pen and notebook with laptop.

Ultimately, business decisions are based on the return on investment (ROI). 

If the company is going to spend $1000 on a laptop, then your boss will want to understand how this purchase makes the company more than $1000 from that investment. 

It’s a sound approach to running a business, and it’s your job to explain this.

So, think about a real dollar amount.

If your productivity goes up by 10 percent (for example), then the laptop is worth 10 percent of your hourly pay every hour. 

So, how long does it take for your increased productivity to pay for the laptop and start generating a positive return on that investment?

There are other ways a laptop can generate money too.

If the equipment helps you avoid errors in your work, you can estimate the time or other losses associated with those errors. 

If it lowers communication time between you and other departments or other businesses, that time also has monetary value.

Really think about all the ways the laptop helps you at work, and then come up with realistic dollar estimates for all of it.

If the laptop generates more value than it costs, you have a good sell. 

If the laptop generates a lot more value than it costs, you have a slam dunk.

#3 Growth Potential

Female hands busy typing on a laptop.

The previous two categories are numerical and based on realistic projections, but there’s more to consider. 

How can the laptop help you grow in your role and potentially take on more work or responsibility?

Keep that old disclaimer in mind. Don’t commit to growth that you don’t want. 

But, if this is a position that you would like to expand, think about how you could leverage the laptop to become a more valuable member of the company in broader ways.

Really map this out. It will be one of the closing ideas in your pitch and your letter. Don’t underestimate the value of long-term growth potential.

#4 Brevity

Stylish woman working on laptop in office

That’s a lot of information to fit into a letter, and if you have your boss 30 pages of dense words, it’s not going to be compelling. 

Realistically, they probably won’t read the whole thing.

They might not even scan it with much enthusiasm.

Managers are busy, and you have to make things easy for them.

Try to hit the key points, but always keep brevity in mind. 

Your justification letter should be extremely clear, concise, easy to read, and short enough that it doesn’t feel intimidating.

You can’t make it so short that you lose the key points, but don’t waste any words.

The sample letter at the bottom will help you think about how long these things should be.

Why Talking To IT Matters When Asking for a Laptop at Work?

Freelance web-designer talking with friend and doing her job.

The previous ideas inform your justification letter and help you make a good pitch.

This tip is to help you think about the process a little more broadly and preemptively overcome some common objections to getting new computers.

If you want a laptop, that is ultimately an IT issue. 

Depending on how your workplace is organized, IT might have to install things on the laptop or get it through network security.

There are a lot of potential issues here, so make sure you understand them. 

If you take care of IT red tape before pitching the laptop, you can overcome most of the resistance you are likely to hear.

If you have enough room, you can include how you dealt with IT issues in the letter. 

Otherwise, have this information fresh in your mind, and you can cover it in a conversation with your boss.

Clearly, you need to have conversations with IT to make this idea work. 

If your company doesn’t have an IT department or specialist, that makes things a little awkward. 

But, you can still talk to someone in the IT industry.

You can get a feel for what you need to take care of to make the laptop work within the business.

Here’s an example.

If you’re in a small office that doesn’t even have Wi-Fi, then you need the plan to get internet access on the laptop.

Know the Laptop

colleagues in the office discussing

You can cover some of this when you talk to IT, and it’s a good idea.

Ultimately, you need to know exactly what laptop you are pitching to your boss. 

First off, it’s necessary in order to accurately understand the laptop’s costs when you calculate your ROI values. 

Additionally, you need to know what the laptop will actually do for you in a functional sense.

So, pick out the model before you make the pitch.

That way, you can explain exactly how it benefits your work and why that matters. 

Then, if your boss pushes you to find ways to cut costs or pick a different laptop, you’ll understand which features matter most, and you can move forward with good information.

What Does a Sample Letter Asking for a Laptop at Work Look Like?

Rear view of woman writing email on laptop at home

Those tips can help you think about how to make your pitch and what information needs to go into the cover letter, but it’s still nice to have a clear sample. 

The letter below is a made-up person in a made-up position, but it offers specific details that can help you understand how to present important information.

Dear boss,

I’m writing this letter to request a laptop to carry out my daily work activities.

My current position requires that I track all spending that takes place in the bookstore. In order to do this tracking, I spend roughly 20 hours every week entering numbers into logbooks and calculating expenses by hand.

With a laptop, I could use spreadsheets and automation software to carry out this task. With such a laptop, I could save roughly 10 hours every week, and I could increase expense tracking by up to 10 percent.

Considering my hourly wage, that would easily save more than $200 every week. Within a single month, the laptop would pay for itself, and by the end of the year, it would generate a return on investment of roughly 1,000 percent.

I have already investigated what it would take to get this laptop up and running, and I am fully prepared to maintain it myself. The specific model I have researched is a Dell Inspiron with 11th Generation Intel processing. The computer retails for $699 plus tax, and it would need Microsoft Office software, which currently costs $119.99. The total time to break even on this investment is just under five weeks. From there, the laptop is a profit-generating purchase.

Additionally, the resources provided by the laptop will enable me to build Excel sheets that organize our books in a better way. I will have the potential to take on substantially more bookkeeping, and if and when we expand our selection, I will be able to keep up with the new numbers without missing a beat.

Please approve this purchase as soon as possible. If you have any specific questions about the laptop or how it will specifically benefit my work, I am available to discuss these ideas at your convenience.

I appreciate you taking the time to consider this matter, and I look forward to your reply.


John Doe, Bookkeeper


  • Theresa McDonough

    Tech entrepreneur and founder of Tech Medic, who has become a prominent advocate for the Right to Repair movement. She has testified before the US Federal Trade Commission and been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, helping influence change within the tech industry.

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