Are home offices cost-effective?
As the number of people working in a remote capacity continues to increase, a question that a lot of us are asking is what the best working environment is.
The freedom to choose any space you want to spend your working time in can be a little overwhelming, but there are some practical considerations that will help to determine what you pick.
One of these factors is cost, so in this article, we decided to look into whether home offices are a cost-effective solution for remote workers and the self-employed. A big thank you to Woodyatt Curtains for their assistance and guidance in putting this article together.
How much does a home office cost?
First, we need to look at how much a home office actually costs. To do up a room and make it work-ready needn’t cost much, at least not if you have simple work requirements.
If you only need a desk, good light and a nice chair, getting it set up should be easy for under £1000. If you have more complex requirements, the set-up might be more expensive
However, if you need an extra room for your home office, this can add additional costs. If you’re renting and need to move to a bigger place, an extra room could easily add £100-150 to your rent, or £5200-7800 per year. This might seem a significant amount, but the alternatives are sometimes surprisingly expensive.
In order to say whether or not your home office will be cost-effective, you also need to look at the costs associated with the alternative options that you’d use.
Home office vs. working from a cafe
A popular working environment for remote workers across the world is cafes. You can find a new one to work from every day, or you can pick a favourite and go back to it week after week – you’re never tied to one place.
The cost does add up though; if you’re ordering coffees, snacks and lunch as the day progresses, you can easily end up spending £100-150 or more over the work week.
Even if you needed to rent an apartment or house with an extra room in order to have a home-office, that could end up cheaper than eating and drinking in cafes day-in-day-out.
Home office vs. shared working space
Shared working spaces can be a good solution, especially if you work better in an environment with other people.
You can rent a desk in a coworking space for around £250 a month, and if you don’t go mad on coffee and lunches out, you can keep costs relatively low.
It depends where you work best
At the end of the day, which option you pick depends on where you’re most productive. If you make a small saving by working in a coworking space but you only get half the work done you would compared to working in a home office, you’re not really saving money at the end of the day. Only you will know the answer to that question, once you’ve added up the other costs.