It doesn’t matter whether you have an entire spare bedroom ripe for transformation or a small corner in your kitchen, you can create a functional and productive home office and with a very small budget.
Take a look at our list of essential inclusions and see what your home could let you create.
A proper desk
Yes, we know plenty of people get by just fine with their laptop on their knee or on the sofa, but if you want to be able to work properly, productively and not spend half your earnings on chiropractor appointments, a dedicated desk is vital. You don’t have to go silly with something bespoke, so take a look at the cheap desks from vidaXL for inspiration. They look good, do what they need to and can be easily upcycled as and when you fancy a change.
Top tip: You’ll always need more storage than you first think, so while some of the ultra-sleek and minimalist desk designs are excellent, start with something that has drawers. Seriously, until you’ve been a home-worker for a while, you’ll want somewhere to put all of the clutter at 5 pm.
A supportive chair
The key word here is supportive. In an office, you barely notice that the chairs you are provided with tend to be ergonomic, adaptive and designed to minimise your discomfort and ultimately, time off. When it comes to working from home, the onus will be on you to source a similarly appropriate chair, within your budget. This is one piece of furniture that we highly recommend you don’t skimp on.
Look for a chair that can be raised and lowered at the very least, or if you don’t mind a little experimental seating, try a Japanese-inspired kneeling stool that uses your natural posture to create a comfortable sitting position.
Buy stationery you like
It might sound silly, but investing in stationery that you like the look of will make you more likely to actually use it, keep it and get the most benefit from it. It will also subtly encourage you to keep your desk tidy, for fear of losing something. Being able to surround yourself with things you like and feel a connection to is one of the biggest advantages of working from home, so make the most of this wherever possible.
If you are able to transform a spare room into your office, you can go as wild as you like with your stationery, but if you are installing yourself into the corner of an existing space, try to think about the wider decor, for a cohesive look.
Choose calming colours
A tip for any of you with a full room to take advantage of here: keep things simple and choose a wall colour that is fresh and calm. Honestly? You can’t go wrong with white. It’s the ideal blank canvas, keeps your space feeling airy and is easy to accessorise, regardless of budget. In a white office, a super cost-effective white desk won’t look like a budget option at all – it will be part of the scheme. Throw in a contrasting rug and a low-cost bookcase and you’ll be good to go, maybe for under £100 in total.
Of course, if you like bolder colours and funky shapes, there’s plenty of inspiration for you to enjoy too.
The idea of creating a home office often seems more fun and glamorous than the reality, because as soon as you start investing in proper furniture, your budget disappears and you’re often left with nothing for the fun elements and accessories. We think that a cheap but functional desk, a cost-effective comfortable chair and some storage are the only real essentials and from there, everything else can be for fun or there simply to look nice!