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While this transition has largely been embraced by employees, offering newfound freedom to work more flexibly, it has also provided several issues in need of addressing.
From the mental ramifications of working from home to the lack of physical contact with others, there are a number of considerations that both employers and employees need to take to make the transition successful.
One of the key things to think about for employees especially is the costs involved with working from home. After all, it’ll now be up to them to front the overhead costs to use the working equipment they need.
With this in mind, join us as we run through some of the best ways to keep costs down while working from home and highlight a few key areas to watch out for as time goes on.
Since lighting is so important when it comes to staying focused, make sure the lightbulbs you’re using are energy efficient – ideally an A+++ energy rating.
Similarly, browse through the latest energy deals to ensure you’re not being overcharged for the energy you’re using. Or, to go one step further, think about investing in a self-sustaining renewable source of energy such as solar panels or ground-source heat pumps.
Making even the smallest of changes to your lighting and energy set up can make a big difference when it comes to your monthly outgoings. Therefore, rather than waiting months on end working from home to see your energy bills skyrocket, prepare yourself in advance to keep on top of it.
While on the subject of improving your energy system, ensuring it’s actually safe to use is incredibly important. Therefore, why not ask your employer to book an electrician in to come around to inspect your plugs?
The last thing you want, after all, is to continuously use plugs that are either black holes for energy use or – even worse – are actually a fire risk to use.
And, whatever you do, don't try and check the plugs yourself. While there may be several helpful DIY videos out there, electricity is not something to mess around with if you aren't expertly trained and don't know what you're doing.
Leave it to the professionals and, you never know, you could end up saving a lot more than just money.
Lighting is one of the big expenditures to think about when it comes to working from home, so why not use the world’s natural light instead?
If you have a garden, patio or balcony, for example, make the most of it by working outside. Create a shaded area if you need to. In doing so, this will avoid the need to turn your inside lights on and should help keep your costs down as a result.
Plus, working in the fresh air will help in terms of retaining your focus, which could help in terms of getting your work done. From a freelance perspective, this is especially important as it could mean more work and – therefore – more money.
If anything, your food costs should decrease substantially now you’re working from home. But, now you have direct access to all your food, it can be all too easy to snack and get through it quicker than planned.
Therefore, try to keep on top of what you’re eating and drinking. Don’t cook your pre-planned dinner for lunch just because you fancy it – stick to your cheaper lunch option and keep the dinner as a reward for getting your day of work out of the way.
Also, try to avoid buying foods or ingredients that you either don’t need or can’t afford. While it may be nice to have a bottle of Pepsi Max every day, costs can quickly mount up so it’s important to keep an eye on it as you move forward.
It may sound silly on the face of it but, fundamentally, rather than working from your own house using your own electricity and lighting, why not work from somewhere else instead?
While you can’t go into the office itself right now, if you’re able to work pretty much anywhere using only your laptop, you can keep costs down significantly by keeping your morning ‘commute’ alive and heading to work somewhere else.
Being able to differentiate between work and home is vital from a psychological perspective, after all, so you could even find that you work more productively by setting up base elsewhere as well.
So, there you have it – four effective ways of keeping your costs down while working from home.
The key thing to remember is that it’s your energy you’re now using, so it’ll be you that’ll be fronting the cost.
Therefore, it’s up to you to keep on top of it and make sure that your spending habits don’t spiral out of control throughout your transition to the world of remote work.
This article is part of a series of lifestyle content pieces written for Moving and Improving by Annie Button. Find out what else Annie has been up to over on Twitter: @anniebutton1994 or visit more of Annie's amazing articles in our related blog section.
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