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Investing in a home office

How the study now gets all the financial attention

Has the Home Office become the room in the house that receives the largest amount of financial investment? I think so. Forget a new conservatory or re-tiling the bathroom; the home office is getting all the attention when it comes to equipping, re-designing and upgrading.

Office spending

Back in March 2006, the home office desk joined champagne, iPods and flat screen TVs to be listed in the UK 'shopping basket' of goods officially used by government statisticians to track price movement and inflation. The review ensures the basket stays current and reflects spending patterns so including this home office item was indication of increased spend in home offices across the land.

This is set to continue with a report from The Future Laboratory revealing a significant 69% of respondents who said they plan to invest more in their home office over the coming years as they spend more time working from home.

What is it that people are spending on? There are three key categories:

Technology - homeworkers seek out the best broadband or wireless deals that will power their office. Right now, prices are competitive as providers such as Carphone Warehouse, Sky, and Orange fall over themselves to offer the best 'free' deal.

Tools - expenditure on tools of the homeworking trade is up across the board with spend on computers, laptops, printers, Personal Digital Assistants and other gadgetry booming. Items coming to market perform, look great but fulfil other requirements of the homeworker. For example, the Nabaztag, a Wi-FI enabled bunny that can read you the news and alert you when you have messages. These smart rabbits are keeping homeworkers company and appearing on desks up and down the land.

Environment - with purchases ranging from pictures for the wall and plants for the window ledge through to work-conducing lights, chairs and flooring. All making for a work environment that is practical and aesthetically pleasing.

Spending on the home office generates a return on investment as a decent looking study will increase the value of your home and enable you to work more productively. We are calling on homeworkers to show us their offices as we launch a 'Home Office of the Month' feature in association with Brother UK. Homeworkers will submit a photo of their surroundings and the lucky winner receives a free printer. A great way to save on making another purchase!

What next?

Find out how to work from anywhere with flexible working solutions from Microsoft.

After investing all that cash in a fantastic-looking office, how about a cheaper way to make calls and connect to the internet? Join BT Business Broadband Voice and get up to two virtual phone lines with inclusive calls to other subscribers and a great call plan.

bCentral columnist Emma Jones has a series of other articles about home-based businesses and flexible working. Read her columns.

Visit the Enterprise Nation website for more information on basing your small business at home.

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