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Spruce Up Your Home Office for Efficiency, Comfort and Tax Breaks

Here are some tips for maximizing a home work space so you can do your job better, and even save a little money

Nearly 40% of Americans are working from home. While some were working from home before the pandemic, millions more now find their home to be their new office. Many companies plan on keeping things this way for a while. Here are some tips to help make working from home more comfortable and efficient.

Create Your Space

Find a designated area in your home to set up your office space. Try to keep it in an area that is fairly quiet, especially if you will be on calls and meetings. If you are going to be on-camera for meetings, look for a space with good lighting. You may need to add additional table or floor lamps.

Make it as comfy as possible, especially your chair. You can purchase special pillows for back support and comfort. If you don’t have the ability to set up your workspace in a separate room, consider buying a divider to have some privacy.

Personalize your new work area with photos and other items that will help make your space your own.

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Make the Most of Tax Benefits

Talk to your accountant about the tax benefits of working from home. You may be able to use a portion of your rent\mortgage, electrical bills, water bills and many other household expenses as a write-off. If you have to purchase items such as a printer or computer screens, these may also offer a tax advantage. Keep diligent records and receipts on any expenses you incur due to working from home.

Stock Your Office Supplies

Hit the office supply store. This is actually a great time of the year to find deals on everything from printer paper to office furniture. Think of the electrical outlets in the area you work in. You may need a power strip to take care of your current electrical needs.

Many of the larger office supply stores offer reward or loyalty programs. Take advantage of these to save even more money. If you are shopping online, check for coupon codes for additional discounts before pressing “purchase.”

Get Creative With Storage

Small portable drawers with rollers or bins to slide under your desk can help with the overflow of work items. If you have limited space, only keep what you regularly use in your workspace. Use wall space by adding sturdy shelving. The rest of the items can be tucked away in a closet or under a bed until you need them. If you have documents that you need to put in a place for safekeeping, consider a small fireproof and waterproof safe.

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Get Faster Internet

It is worth a call to your internet provider to see what increasing your internet speed would cost you. If you are currently paying for a bundle (internet, television and phone) you may be able negotiate an upgrade. The additional cost just might balance out if you are entitled to a tax advantage for a portion of your utility costs.