When you pitched your employer on the idea of telecommuting, you may have had ideas of working from local coffee shops, taking your laptop around to wonderful places, and generally working on the go. But the fact of the matter is that you’ll wind up working from home quite a bit. That means that having a comfortable work space in your home office is crucial — the couch or the dining room table won’t cut it if you’re working for hours on end. If you haven’t had a particularly good space in the past, that may mean investing in some office furniture. The price tag on a solid desk and a comfortable chair can be quite steep, though. Depending on your employer, there are ways to get a little help with that expense.
Some companies already have policies in place to reimburse telecommuting employees for high-speed Internet access. While there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to get a similar reimbursement for office furniture, there is rarely any harm in asking. If you can make it part of your initial negotiations in a move to telecommuting, you may have a better chance of convincing your employer to give you at least part of the money towards your new office equipment. Thinking outside of the box can make that money stretch, as well. A set sum of money that might only pay for half of a brand new chair will go further if you purchase that chair used.
If your employer isn’t willing to help you out with money towards new furniture, there still may be a way to make the purchase less expensive. Some companies make a practice of selling off old office furniture and equipment they no longer need. If your employer fits into that category, you may be able to get a deal. You may even be able to buy the desk you used to use at the office! Loans of office furniture are less common, although companies that sign out computer equipment may be more willing to consider signing out a desk as well. Another option is to find out where your employer purchases office furniture. If you work for a larger company, you may find that it already has a standing agreement to buy office furniture for less than you can on your own, simply because it buys chairs and desks on a regular basis. Even being able to buy through your company’s supplier can cut your costs.
Unfortunately, not all telecommuters will be able to get their employers to help with office furniture costs. However, it’s worth a try, especially when you realize that even an inexpensive desk will top a hundred dollars.
Share your cost-cutting office outfitting tips below.
Image by Flickr user William Hook