The novel coronavirus has had a number of unexpected results on the way that we live and work. Among the most obvious of these has been a trend toward working from home, and a desire among would-be house-buyers for a home office.
Given that working from home options are likely to be with us for the foreseeable future, and possibly for the long-term, the investment in a dedicated office space might seem like a sound one. If it’ll help you to be more productive, then you might argue that the expense will ultimately pay for itself.
But for this to be true, you’ll need at least a rough idea of how much your new modification is going to really cost. If you’re rushing into a refurbishment, or even an extension, then you risk running over budget. Let’s look at some of the costs to watch out for.
Changing a Room
Redecorating, or even remodelling, can be an expensive business. If you have to knock a wall through to make enough space to work, then you’ll be spending more. The same applies if you’re installing new windows and skylights to allow natural light into the room. For most office workers, extensive modifications of this sort aren’t necessary – but if you’re running a dance studio, the space you have available makes a critical difference.
If you’re using equipment that you’ve borrowed from work, then you won’t need to worry about the extra expense. If you’re starting out as a freelancer, then you’ll need to consider the cost of your equipment. That often means a computer, a microphone, and a webcam (for all of those video conferences). Certain professionals might have more particular equipment requirements; musicians and composers, for example, might need to invest in instruments, speakers and acoustic tiling.
The furniture you’re using might have a considerable effect on your quality of life while working from home. But so too should the way that you arrange it. When typing, your elbows should be roughly parallel to the desk, and your eyeline should be level with the top of the screen you’re looking at. If you have particular problems with posture, then you might consider modifications, such as lumbar cushion. A better idea is to invest in a high-quality office chair, or to perform regular stretching and yoga.
It’s also worth thinking about storage. Being surrounded by clutter, after all, is going to hamper your productivity. Bespoke fitted office furniture is going to make a huge difference here.
If your role requires software licences, then you’ll need to think about how much you’re going to commit to them each year. You might expect to pay £60 for an annual subscription to Microsoft 365, and far more than that for more specialised programs. Have an idea of how much you need as you plan for life working from home in the long-term.