Countless people are working from the comfort of their homes for the foreseeable future because of the ongoing pandemic. However, even before Covid-19 happened, plenty had already adapted the work-from-home arrangement because of its multiple benefits.
You have an option to wake up late, work in your pajamas, avoid the rush morning commutes, and get tax write-offs on the rent. The use of modern technology also enhances the advantages of working from your home. You can easily communicate with your workmates via tools like Skype, Messenger, Zoom, Base Camp, and many more.
Despite its numerous benefits, working from home does come with challenges too. There are more distractions, such as your family members and pets, watching televisions, gaming sets, social media, and various household chores.
Whether you work at home full-time or not, a home office is essential for both worlds. However, not everyone has a big budget to spend on outfitting a home office. It’s tempting to immediately start shopping for furniture and decorations for your new home office. However, it would be best if you took the time to plan your office layout and design.
You don’t need to worry because we bring you six (6) tips for creating an efficient yet budget-friendly home office.
Define the Location
The first thing you need to do when setting up a home office is to find a place that can be dedicated as your work office area. Find any available place in your house that is isolated and sparsely used, and utilize it. It would be best if the area is also away from the high traffic and receives plenty of sunlight.
Renovating a whole room to be your office is costly, which is why it is advised to consider renovating a particular spot in your house instead. This area could be a small closet, a spare room, an attic, a basement, a large stair landing, or even an unused corner in your living room.
Create a Floor Plan and Layout
After finding a suitable place to set up your home office, spend some time working on your floor plan and layout. However small your selected area is, creating a floor plan and thinking through its layout will allow you to use that space to its maximum. Measure the space and your furniture to help you get the space’s best use but still make it aesthetically pleasing as you desired.
Determine What You Can Do Yourself
When you want a budget-friendly home office, find out what you can do by yourself instead of hiring a professional. For instance, you can paint the area yourself, assemble the furniture, and even set up simple electrical wirings. By doing all of this yourself, you can save a pretty good amount of money. Also, it can be a fun way to learn new things and practical skills.
Repurpose What You Already Have
Look around your house to find anything that you can use for your home office. You don’t necessarily need to purchase new furniture, decors, accessories, and office items.
There might be spare lamps, a strong desk, and comfortable chairs in your attic or guest room. A family picture or a motivational art that you can hang on the wall of your workspace can be found in your closet. You can also search for small office items such as staples, scissors, pens, and notebooks buried in a box somewhere in the house.
There is a lot you can use in your house, all you have to do is look.
Shop Around for Cheap Bargains
If you don’t have the furniture you need, you can always visit thrift stores, garage sales, flea markets, and consignment shops. Don’t forget the online options as well, including the Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. There are plenty of affordable antiques available in there to elevate your home office. You will be amazed at what you can find in these stores.
There will always be someone who wants to get rid of their desks or shelves. You have to be patient in finding the one that would suit your home office space and style. Even though it’s not new, you can always clean them and then sand the pieces. You can also paint them their original color or something new entirely to suit them in your desired style and aesthetic.
Barter with Friends and Neighbors
You can always consider trading items with your friends or swapping furniture with your neighbors. Look around your house and find anything that you are not using, a table or children’s furniture perhaps. You can exchange them with a desk or a bookshelf that you will need for your home office.
If your friends or family don’t have the item you need, you can put announcements in your community bulletin boards, post ads on Craigslist, and a quick shout-out on Facebook. You can also use your professional services to trade if you don’t have any extra items lying around your house.
The Bottom Line
According to Forbes, there are more than 4 million US employees who work from home. That number continues to increase each passing year, especially with the pandemic. However, after the pandemic ended, it will not be a surprise if many people will still adhere to the work-from-home arrangement.
At the end of the day, having a home office is beneficial for you. It allows you to focus solely on your work and be more productive. It can also increase your house’s value if you decide to rent it and plan to spend $2,000 per year on maintenance. There are a few obstacles when creating your own home office, but it is not impossible.