In 2021, we are finding ourselves working from home (WFH) more than ever before. According to recent data from the ABS, 2 in 5 people work from home at least once a week.1 WFH was undoubtedly an exciting new concept for many. Still, as the quarantine periods continued, the problem of where to work and how to be as productive as possible, crept in. It can be expensive to furnish a new home office space, so in this article we break down ways to save on home office essentials.
NB: all pricing in this article was correct as of September 2021.
This one is simples, before taking that trip to your local furniture store or online there are many great places you can get the look for less. Look at Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace, or your local op shop. Despite a plethora of furniture options out there, second hand may be more desirable from a cost and sustainability standpoint. Why purchase a new table for $500 when you could find something similar for a lot less?
Computers and other electronic devices such as monitors, chargers and phones are the office essentials. They may be the pricier elements to your home office, with the more expensive options ranging from $2,499 for the latest iMac to $1, 499 for a comparable PC (Umart).
However, there’re still ways to save with these devices. If you miss the sales that occur at EOFY and the turn of the year, talk to a sales consultant at your local electronics department to see if any bundles or deals may be an option. Don’t forget – you might need a keyboard and mouse as well.
Along with your electronic devices, internet is another important home office element. While most ISPs will provide some form of bundled deal or incentive for new customers to join, there are a range of prices from $65 to $110 per month (My Republic – Telstra). It is also important to note you may be able to claim deductions for work-related expenses (It’s best to discuss with a professional on what you are eligible to claim for).
Printers have been a staple of the home office since their arrival to commercial markets in 1977.2 You may be able to save on your ink from using the draft-printing mode to thinner ink-saving fonts. Refilling your cartridges is not only an environmentally friendly option, but it may also cost you as little as $1.26 per refill (Cartridge World).
Printer-friendly paper may be a low-cost option at $4.99 a pack (Officeworks), but there’s no denying there’s a lot of waste. From accidents and jams with the printer to incorrect prints, there could potentially be more ways to save in a humble ream of paper than you may have realised.
Home office chairs are an important addition to the desk and computer. You may find that the top range $989 (Officeworks) price tag is a bit excessive for a simple chair, however the more ergonomic the better for your back and body’s health. If you can find one second-hand, all the better! Just don’t forget to give it a good clean.
Storage is the penultimate option on our list, but that doesn’t mean it’s not as important as any other component to completing a home office. It’s a great opportunity to shop your local op shop or online second-hand website for some storage options that may suit your set up. Many items range from $0 to $400 (Gumtree) or more, there are always many items, in all different conditions to find.
Not only is second-hand storage a more environmentally friendly option, your wallet should be happy for the discounts and you also never know what hidden treasure you will find.
To boost productivity and afford yourself a feeling of calm in your own space, small additions, accessories and trinkets can help to inject some personality and charm onto your desk and surrounds. Our suggestions would be décor items such as a vase from $4 (Ikea), $10 fresh-cut flowers (or even your own from outside), or a small, framed photo of your loved ones ($3.50) (Kmart). Why not excite your day with a funky pen holder for all your pens ($9.00) (Typo).
1 A year of COVID-19 and Australians work from home more, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Accessed September 2021
2 History of Computer Printers, ThoughtCo., Accessed September 2021