With working from home fast becoming the new normal for many office workers, the need for a designated professional space within their private havens has become all-consuming, but cost is a factor.
For those who have always relied on equipment and premises being supplied by an employer, it is quite a culture shock to suddenly have to kit out a home office, but it can be done on a budget and with bags of style. Read on to find out how.
Invest in your back
First things first: your office desk chairs are not something you should skimp on. If you are set to be sat for long periods of time, you need something ergonomic, comfortable and supportive. You can blend practicality with good looks in your office, if vidaXL.co.uk and Living etc are to be believed.
Don’t be tempted to buy an unsuitable chair and pad with cushions later. Save yourself the chiropractor bills and be kinder to yourself now.
Use what you have
This is such a good tip, especially if working from home is unlikely to be a permanent situation. Instead of rushing out and spending a fortune on all new furniture, try to repurpose what you already own. A hallway console table could be a perfect desk, for example. Old mugs are great for keeping stationery in, and notepads don’t have to be spiral-bound! Use what you have and when you need fresh supplies, think about treating yourself to something a little fancier.
Look for freebies
If you don’t have anything to repurpose, keep an eye out for free items. Pre-loved websites such as Gumtree and social media marketplaces make it easy to find bits of furniture that you need, for no money, as long as you can collect. Even if you find something you need that isn’t quite to our taste, if it’s free you can justify buying a few bits and pieces to try your hand at an upcycling project.
Think about running costs
You might be saving money on the daily commute but if you’re at home, you’re spending money! Always remain aware of how much electricity you are using, because it could be more than you realise. Turn lights off when you don’t need them on, resist the urge to work in front of the television and remember that all-day snacking will soon add up when it comes to the weekly shop. If you have a smart meter installed, it might be an interesting exercise to watch your monitor to see where you could cut your energy consumption and keep you home office budget in check.
When you need shelves putting up in a commercial space, you have to wait for the right professionals to come in, but at home? It’s on you. If you can get to grips with some basic DIY skills, you can save yourself a lot of money when it comes to storage and organisation furniture, as you can simply choose cost-effective flatpack options and put them together yourself. If you want to make things more interesting, you can seek out hacks for adapting existing designs.
Essentially, all you should need to be able to work from home is a computer, phone and a reliable internet source, but we all know that a dedicated work space makes the whole process more enjoyable and productive. By keeping a firm grip on your budget and adopting a pragmatic approach, you can craft a beautiful professional zone in your home that will come in handy even if you return to your commercial office at some point.