What does it cost to create a home office?Having a dedicated space to work from at home is incredibly important. It gets you motivated, keeps you organised and when the working day is done, enables you to enjoy and relax in the rest of home.
When it comes to creating that home office or working space, you'll need furnishings and equipment essential to completing projects. You may start to panic about how much you need to buy. In some cases you have to speculate to accumulate, however for other items and accessories the monetary outlay doesn't necessarily have to spiral out of control.
Here is some advice on creating a home office and what you can expect it to cost.
Find a suitable space
Staying in bed all day working from a laptop sounds ideal, but in reality this isn't a very productive solution and the quality of work is likely to suffer. Find a room or space in your house where you will feel comfortable working for long periods of time. You are more than likely to spend more time here than the rest of your house, so making sure it's a pleasant and work-conducive environment is very important.
As mentioned previously, being able to relax after your working day is also important, so have somewhere you can shut the door on after hours. And don't go all out on decorating and furnishing straight away as you may find it's too cold, too noisy or too dingy. Give your new area a trial run before committing to significant investment.
Identify your essential requirements
You may long for a majestic piece of art on the wall or an extravagant sound system to play your favourite music while working, but these aren't essentials and efforts should be concentrated on the items that are required for working. These include:
- Desk or workstation from £35. Flat pack desks will be your cheapest option; however trying out a workstation before you buy is important, no matter what the price is. Fully assembled office specification desks start at around £100
- Chair. Black swivel chairs can be bought for as little as £20, however if you're working at home full-time it's more than likely you'll want something more substantial. Ergonomic office chairs start from £60 and will allow you to work in comfort for hours. The best quality dining chairs are also a fantastic alternative for an upright and correct posture.
- Computer or laptop. If working for yourself, you'll be eligible to buy one of Dell's small and medium business solutions. Desktop deals start from £229 while laptops can cost as little as £299. Remember peripherals including monitors and keyboards may not be included. If you prefer Mac to Windows, Apple have a wide range of IT solutions to suit your requirements. Mac minis start at £499, MacBook Pros at £999 and a top of the range Mac Pro will be over £2,000. In all scenarios, spend that little bit more and buy a high specification machine to avoid frustration and improve tech longevity.
- Printer. Machines made by reputable companies including Canon and Epson can cost as little as £20, however be prepared to pay nearer £50 for a device that will last.
- Storage. Inevitably, you'll end up with mountains of paperwork so having the correct storage solutions to deal with it is of vital importance. Although not essential, a filing cabinet is a good idea and will cost no more than £50. Shelving, folders and boxes shouldn't cost more than this either, but will leave you with a clean and well-organised workspace.
- Lighting. Having a bright and well-lit environment is easily achievable and won't make a big impact on the budget either. A task light will be around £10 while floor lamps are around £20.
- Second phone line. If you want a dedicated phone line for your work, BT will charge between £100-200 to install and connect. A decent office-style phone will start from £20.
Once you start working and get used to your environment, you'll realise things like stationary and multi-plugs are also vital additions.
Also consider using the walls for work reminders, noticeboards or even photographs of loved ones. The odd plant here or there can also create a tranquil environment. They are inexpensive, reduce stress and increase productivity.
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