INSIDE: Are you considering some much-needed home office upgrades? Use this guide for some of the best tips, all of which are budget-friendly and easy to implement. Before you know it, you'll love your work space so much, you might use it as your place to escape to.
Many of us spent a lot more time than planned in our home office spaces in 2020. For some people, it was their first experience living in the dual-reality of working from home. Perhaps you quickly found out that your home office space wasn’t as accommodating as you had hoped.
The vast majority of telecommuters start remote work with a home office setup that uses what they have, whether that's in a spare bedroom, the basement or one of the odd nooks in the house. Your plan is to just get started and figure out what you need as you go along. But what if you're still not quite sure what you need to make things better? What if you aren’t quite sure you can make things better within your budget?
The need to work from home is likely to continue into 2021. If you're ready to make things a little more comfortable or productive, we have a few simple upgrades for your home office setup as you get ready for the new year.
The Easiest Budget-Friendly Home Office Upgrades to Implement Today
Let's not waste anymore time! Here are our best tips for home office upgrades that won't cost you much…
A Gallon of Paint
You have likely heard how color can affect your mood. Some people believe that certain colors can improve focus or have a calming effect. While these theories will always be met with some level of skepticism, painting your office may be worth a shot if you're ready for a change anyway.
Warm, neutral colors are believed to have the most calming effects. However, if you would like to go more bold, you can incorporate a rich, dark wall or even a pop of pink. A little green or yellow may help you feel more energized.
If your budget won’t allow for a full repaint, make over the wall you face while working with a color that evokes the feeling you're trying to achieve and is complementary to your existing color scheme.
Incorporate a Storage System
Nothing ruins a space like clutter. If you find yourself wading through papers and home office supplies at every turn, invest in a few desk organizers, rolling file cabinets or even a small secretary desk.
Today’s office equipment doesn’t have to be big, cumbersome or institutional. You can find many portable, easy-to-assemble options at big box stores and online retailers that will match not only your décor but also your budget. (Elle Decor chose these as its favorite home office desktop organizers.)
Nothing starts the year off right like a clean desktop and knowing that everything has its place and is in it. It's one of the best home office upgrades you can do!
Thrift a New Setup
Perhaps you've been dreaming of a new desk or side table, but you haven’t been able to fit it into your budget or schedule. The good news is that apps such as Facebook Marketplace and Nextdoor have made it easier than ever for neighbors to buy, sell and trade gently used furniture and home décor, such as a good desk lamp and other simple upgrades. You may be surprised at the deals you come across for your office space!
As always when meeting in person, take precautions. If at all possible, don’t let strangers into your home or go into theirs. If the item is small and easy to move, meet in a highly trafficked area where you know there is a steady stream of people and cameras. Don’t go alone. And check with your local police station. Many now have parking stalls reserved solely for these meetups.
Inspiring Wall Designs
Wall art is very trendy right now. In every home store, you see row after row of framed motivational sayings and inspiring prints.
You don’t have to break the bank when you're doing this type of home office upgrades! Even if you have no artistic skills to create your own, you can find so many beautiful designs on Etsy that you can print for yourself. For $3 to $5, you can fill the walls of your home office space with stimulating designs. And at that price, you can change them out every season if you'd like.
An Ergonomic Chair
Office chairs come in a wide variety of styles and prices. While an ergonomic office chair may be a larger investment than many of the options on this list, an upgraded desk chair can be well worth it. This is especially the case if you are experiencing any back pain or muscle fatigue. Dining room chairs were not meant to be sat on all day. Neither were couches, if we're being honest.
A good quality office chair can range in price from around $150 to well over $1,000. If this is beyond your budget, look into an ergonomic cushion or back pillow for your desk chair.
This can serve a dual purpose: to lessen the background noises you hear and lessen the background noise anyone you're speaking with on the phone or computer hears. This is a necessity for those working at-home customer service jobs, but maybe it can improve your workday as well. If you attend Zoom meetings or take calls, make sure the headset you choose has a microphone.
A new headset can truly be an inexpensive upgrade. Even some of the best models out there retail for less than $100.
Move Your Desk
Sometimes the biggest change you can make is the most inexpensive of all. In fact it's the best of the home office upgrades because it's free!
You know the feeling you get when you rearrange your living room or bedroom? It’s like an entirely new space! You can do the same with your home office setup.
Instead of facing the doorway, turn your home office desk around to face a window. The natural light may help improve your mood, especially during the winter months. The simple distractions of a bird landing on your windowsill or a neighbor and his dog walking by may be enough to remind you to stop and enjoy the little things.
Rest your eyes for a moment. Get out of your chair and move around. These simple movements may seem trivial, but these remote work changes can have a big impact on your overall well-being.
Buy a Plant
Another truly cheap option is spending a few bucks on a plant for your home office. It doesn’t need to be a big ficus tree like those commonly found in corporate office corners. Yours can be “desk-size.” Good options even if you have a brown thumb include snake plants and philodendrons. Just make sure your desk lamp or other light source matches your new plant’s needs.
Final Thoughts About Home Office Upgrades
As you can see, it doesn’t take a big budget to make a big difference in your home workspace. And you don’t have to do everything at once. Take a weekend to make a few simple home office upgrades, and reap the benefits for years to come.