Whether you’re running your own business or working remotely for an employer, working from home can be an excellent way to reduce stress and improve focus. But working from home can get expensive quickly if you’re not careful. Here are four ways to keep your office costs down without affecting your productivity.
1. Create a budget for your office space
The first thing you’ll need to focus on is what sort of budget you have for filling your home office space. Too many gung-ho decorators go all out with the decor and top-of-the-line equipment when all they really needed was to keep things simple. Unfortunately, not having a tight-enough budget can cause you to end up using the debt snowball strategy to dig yourself out of debt. You can avoid this by simply allotting a certain amount of money that covers your essentials and keeps you from overspending.
2. Add as you go
Spend money on what’s most important first, and then add on niceties as you go. Furniture such as office chairs and desks are essential, but cabinets, shelving, and desk organizers are worth adding on later once you’re settled in. Try to invest in quality essential items if you can since they’ll last longer and be more comfortable. A cheap folding chair might do the job you need it to, but could you really sit for multiple hours a day comfortably? Try to find the highest-quality essentials that fit in your budget so that you’ll save yourself the headache of needing to replace them later on or losing your focus due to back or shoulder pain.
Once your setup is established, you can add on more amenities that make the office space more inviting such as decor, plants, decorative organizers for pens and pencils, or whatever else you feel improves the feel of your space. Just remember that your budget is the top priority and going without that aromatherapy diffuser temporarily won’t drastically affect the way you work. What you can personally do is look for alternative sources of income, that won’t require a lot of your time and effort. For example, with the passive income apps, you could make some extra cash while doing your usual work tasks and meetings.
3. Talk to your boss about office reimbursements
If you’re working remotely for an employer, it’s worth contacting them to see what sort of reimbursements you can get for your office supplies. Some companies will reimburse your costs for printers, webcams, and even computers. Some will buy you the things you need once you ask, so don’t be afraid to request help.
4. Don’t forget about buying things second hand
If money is tight and you don’t have a reimbursement package, then consider hitting up your local thrift stores and flea markets for incredible deals. You’ll most likely find old, high-quality furniture like desks, bookcases, and office chairs, but you’ll also find scores of office supplies such as binders, desk organizers, and even consumables like pens and printer paper. It’s incredible what some people will donate, and their generosity can save you a lot of money.
The bottom line
Working from home can be a fantastic way to save time on your commute and decrease the stress that comes along with an office environment but it can get expensive if you’re not careful. Use these four hacks to keep your costs down while also keeping your productivity high.