14 Oct How to Create the Budget-Friendly Home Office of Your Dreams
We may not always be able to escape the daily grind, but thanks to modern technology, working from home can provide some relief from cubicle life.
Digital technologies like email, online chats, cloud storage, and web-collaboration services like Google Drive are just a few reasons why many industries are embracing a work-from-home lifestyle. Rather than commuting to and from work each day, you can sign online to complete tasks remotely from home. If the company you work for supports a home-office lifestyle, working remotely can be a flexible, productive way to interact with your colleagues, complete your projects, overcome geographical boundaries, and avoid rush-hour traffic.
To help ensure your success at your remote job, it’s important to create the right home office space. Here are some tips:
Although 74 percent of workers reportedly would quit their current jobs for the opportunity to work from home, remote jobs take preparation and discipline. For starters, you’ll want to plan for a quiet, distraction-free workspace that fits your budget. To remain as productive as possible, choose a space in your home that doesn’t get much traffic or outside noise. Visual tools like dry erase boards and calendars can provide reminders that help you stay focused on work-related tasks. Headphones can help drown out distracting sounds and background noise. If you want a truly dedicated space to work with minimal temptations to procrastinate, you may want to consider constructing a small office building outside of your home. A prefab steel garage is a cost-conscious choice that doesn’t take long to put together, and it’s an attractive option for adding square footage to a large yard. Similarly, you can convert part or all of an existing garage into an office area, but for the sake of productivity, this should only be considered for a garage that isn’t currently being used for storage or parking.
If you opt for an outdoor unit or live in a small space, like a one-bedroom home or studio apartment, you’ll need to get creative when designing your home office. Organizational consultant and author Marie Kondo, who specializes in tidying up small spaces like home offices, recommends creating an organized, orderly home office that utilizes space in creative ways. For instance, you might scan stacks of paper documents into digital versions to free up space. You might also discard any unused objects that are creating clutter or aren’t making you money. These simple steps can boost your efficiency, creativity, performance, and job satisfaction.
While planning your home office, consider what you can afford. To stay within your budget and avoid buyer’s remorse, you might look at example home offices that were created at or below your budget. The interior design company Modsy creates a 3D visualization of what your finished home office might look like with furniture to fit any budget. To see what they can do, just look at these stylish photos of Modsy’s San Francisco headquarters, which cost less than $5,000.
Of course, in addition to the furniture and office decor, you’ll also need a computer and a reliable, high-speed internet connection. Now’s the time to budget for those, if you haven’t already. Luckily, you can find coupons and discount codes online for many computers, laptops, and other electronics. Internet services are also fairly affordable and reliable in most areas these days, and the money you’ll save on commutes will help cover that high-speed connection cost.
To keep your home office equipment budget-friendly, consider shopping at stores like Best Buy for all your tech needs. Just do your research before buying — you can search online for coupons or promo codes to help you save money.
Keep in mind that if you’re a small business owner or a freelancer, you might be able to deduct your home office expenses from your taxes. Whether you rent, own, or work from your garage, you can write it off as long as you use the space exclusively for work. Start a file now for all of your business expenses so that come tax time, you have everything organized and ready to go.
Working from home doesn’t have to break the bank. As you can see, it’s easier and more affordable than ever to design the perfect home office for any size living space.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash