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Setting up a home office on a budget

In this day and age, companies are exploring working from home and working remotely with a deeper focus on what it can bring to the workplace and their staff. There are a number of benefits for both the organisation as well as the employee, whether that is deducting a fraction of your rent as a tax write off, or whether it’s only having to get dressed from the waist up in the mornings in case you forget to turn off the Skype video function for any conference calls.

It can be a joy as well as a challenge to work from home, and maintaining your motivation when your boss isn’t staring over your shoulder can be tough at times. It can also be difficult to communicate how under the pump you are, and how it’s not really possible for you to lend a hand when your boss’ boss asks you to help him out, if he can’t see the beads of sweat dripping from your brow.

Despite all this, a home office is a worthwhile thing to invest in, and one challenge that can be easily overcome is setting up your home office on a budget. Although in most cases these costs will be covered by your employer, it is always important to show that you have done your research, and feel happy that you have obtained the best possible price, allowing you to hit the ground running on your first day working from home.

Up-cycle and become a creative genius

Depending on the available space in your home, it may require you to be creative when choosing where you would like your work space to be situated, as not all of us will have a whole unused room to furnish and decorate. Therefore, doing the decorating yourself, and up-cycling your existing furniture can be a fun and imaginative way of decorating your office on the cheap.

Bulk buy like a boss

When purchasing office equipment, try to avoid specialised office suppliers, and look for the smaller bulk purchase stores, as buying a larger quantity of paper in one go (for instance),will decrease your costs overall. In the first instance, purchase only your office necessities and then start compiling a list of the useful items you’ve noticed are missing, as this will prevent you purchasing items that you’ll scarcely use.

Be a stealthy online shopper

It is a good idea to look at an online computer store for your computer, as it allows you to research and compare models from the comfort of your home, and there are no hard sales pitches when you’re at the first point of your purchase cycle. Furthermore, online shops usually have a greater variety than brick and mortar stores and I’ve always found that the reduction in their overheads are usually transferred directly to the retail prices.

Ditch the ties of a landline and go mobile

Unless it is mandatory, I would suggest that you don’t purchase a landline. Unless you already have one with a good plan, you can do most things – such as using your mobile phone to make calls, and using Skype or Gotomeeting through your internet connection. Although I was excited to have a landline – and an office number to boot, my retro handset and speaker port has sat on my desk, alone, doing nothing but collecting dust.

Become a green go-getter

Going green is a superb way to save money, great for your wallet and also for your conscience. Choosing a smaller font and reducing the line spacing on your internal documents will save you money on ink and paper. Plus, purchasing thin recycled paper gives you a reduction in your overheads, as well as trying to do something good for our environment. To go one step further, you could make your home office a paperless one and all documents and correspondence can be backed up to the cloud or on tiny storage devices, which can be easily packed away into a decorative box of your choosing.

These five tips and tricks will most certainly get you going with your setup. It can take time to set up your office, but remember it doesn’t need to be done all at once. Make a wish list of items you require, and prioritise them. Set up Google alerts for these items, and when they come on sale, BUY, BUY, BUY.

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