Are you working out of your home office because of the pandemic?
When the health crisis hit, a lot of companies had to quickly find ways to cut down on their operational expenses. One of the solutions businesses looked into is allowing their employees to work from home. This drastically cut down their cost but it was still a difficult move. This was a lot harder for companies that built their culture around an office environment.
For employees, the transition was challenging as well. It meant staying at home but staying productive. Most companies that asked their employees to work from home provided the computers and other essential equipment they need to get their job done. But this is not all that you need to be able to get your work done.
This is where your home office can come into the picture. If you used to bring home some work in the past, it could just be a few documents you scan and read through on the dining table after dinner. You might even go over some documents on your laptop before going to bed. But working the whole day at home is going to be totally different.
You cannot just use the dining table or sit on your bed all day to work. You need to have a space at home where you can sit down and get your tasks done. It might seem easy enough but if you have a big family, this will prove to be a challenge. Especially as a lot of kids are studying from home as well. Working from home can be difficult to set-up.
Identify a space for your home office
One of the first things you need to pin down when you begin working from home is to identify where you will be working. What part of the house will you use for your office? You cannot just take over the dining table because your family uses it every single day. It is not a good idea to use your bed simply because you might not get anything done and just sleep all day.
If you really want to work in your bedroom, you still can. But it might be a better idea if you choose a table by the wall rather than your bed. If you have a window with natural light coming in, that is even better. You can also check around the house to identify suitable areas where you can set up your workspace.
Separate workspace from your home
When choosing an area where you will set up your home office, one of the biggest considerations is separation. Entrepreneur shares that you need to balance your work or business with that of your family’s needs. You need to be able to put a distinction between your work and your home. It can be as big as having one room all to yourself just to get work done. If you do not have space, a simple divider can help you put that separation.
What this does is it helps you transition from what you do at home to what you need to accomplish for work. If you cannot separate one from the other, you might have a hard time focusing on work. You could be thinking about what to cook for dinner while at work if do not separate your work area from the rest of the house.
Shop second-hand items
Building your home office will cost you money but it does not have to be costly. Oftentimes, your computer is the most expensive part of the whole process and the company you work for normally provides that. It could be the same unit that you use in the office. But for everything else, you would need to purchase them.
At this point, you might be thinking of heading out to the stores to buy new pieces of equipment. You could also be starting to browse through online shopping portals to check the prices of office tables and chairs and other things you would need. This is a good start but you should know that you do not always have to buy brand new items.
There are a lot of places to get quality but inexpensive pieces of office equipment. You can buy second-hand items of just about anything. From table to chairs to filing cabinets and even storage for your supplies. You just need to take the time to look for them and keep in mind that you would need to pick up some items from sellers. So best to limit your search to one area to save on travel time.
Do not scrimp on essentials
You might find yourself having to buy new pieces of equipment especially when it comes to the essential ones. Remember that your home office needs to function well. For you to do that, you need to make sure that you have the important items covered. Your office normally allows you to use your computer but you can always choose to upgrade what you use.
This is helpful if you find your office unit a little slow in getting your tasks done. An office chair can also be an essential part of your office at home since you will be sitting on it almost the whole day. You could also need an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) could be a necessity especially if you are using a desktop computer and electricity is not reliable in your area.
There are essential items that you can purchase brand new to help you perform your job better at home. If you end up buying an uncomfortable second-hand office chair, it will make your work a lot more challenging. The same with other essential items you need. Identify the important items you need and make sure you prioritize quality over price.
Tips to fund your purchases for your home office
Now that you have some tips in putting together your office at home, the question is where will you get the money for it? Here are a few ideas you can look into to get you started.
Use a 0% credit card
You can seriously consider using a 0% credit card to help you fund your expenses for your office set up at home. But like everything else, make surer that you only spend what you can pay off at the end of the month. If you are unable to, you make the most of an installment plan with the 0% offer from your lender.
Remember also that the 0% card is just a promotion. This means that at some point, your lender will start to charge you regular interest and fees on your card. Experian shares that introductory 0% APR can last anywhere between 6 to 21 months. If you going to use the card for installment, make sure you pay everything off before the promo period expires.
A HELOC can be an alternative source of funds
A home equity line of credit can also be a good source of funds for your office at home. The low interest helps you save money as well. Just remember that you are essentially borrowing back money you have paid on your house. This pushes your pay-off date on the house further into the future. Do not take this loan lightly because your house is your collateral.
It is not an easy task to set up your home office with the many items you would need but you do not have to spend so much on it. You need to manage your finances as you build your office at home so you do not get into unmanageable debt.