Employees invest in property to enhance remote working models

Workers are spending their own money to make working from home more comfortable

Employees invest in property to enhance remote working models

Workers seem to be so eager to work from the confines of their own homes that they are actually spending their own money to optimize their experience. More than half (55%) of workers valued a dedicated home office space so much they – at least in part – even purchased a new house because they needed a better home office, reported Office Depot.

Thirty percent, meanwhile, claimed to have “remodeled” their workspace at least three times since they first started working from home.

The average remote worker has spent about $1,700 of their own money on equipment or tools to work more comfortably from home.

Thirty-five percent said that if they had to use the same home office setup they had when they first started working remotely, they would not even be able to do their job today.

“Working from home has evolved from makeshift workspaces using countertops and barstools to more thought-out home office setups that rival even the best corporate office spaces,” said Kevin Moffitt, executive vice president of The ODP Corporation and president of Office Depot.

“We want to continue to help our customers make their workspaces work best for them. These survey results are a helpful way to learn more about their preferences and pain points, so we can continue to identify new solutions to help them be successful.”

Recently, British Columbia started allowing public service employees to work from home when possible. The government is also opening government jobs to qualified candidates, wherever they may reside in the province.

Importance of home office

Over six in 10 (63%) employees now work primarily from a dedicated home office, with more than three in four (77%) saying at least half of their time is spent in their home office compared to all the other rooms in their home. That’s according to Office Depot’s First Annual Home Office Survey, based on a survey of 2,000 people who work mostly or entirely remotely.

Most people set up home offices to help make working easier or more efficient (63%) or because they needed a more comfortable or ergonomic workspace (52%). Meanwhile, others needed to remove distractions from their environment (43%) and needed more space to do their work (37%).

The majority of workers are far more likely to either return but consider switching jobs (31%) or hand in their resignation notice (21%) shortly after being ordered to come back to the office, according to a previous report from the Angus Reid Institute.

But not all workers are comfortable with their current at-home workspace – 68% agree that it still needs improvement, according to the Office Depot report.


The most underrated products for having a productive and enjoyable work environment are:

  • an adjustable chair (24%)
  • a spacious desk with storage (22%)
  • organizational tools like planners or desk organizers (10%) 
  • a laptop stand/riser (9%)

But employers can also provide other things to help remote workers out. According to HR and employee engagement community Hppy, employers can do the following:

1. Have frequent communication.

2. Set transparent priorities and goals.

4. Focus on workers’ physical and emotional well-being.

5. Use virtual meeting tools.

7. Request regular team feedback for continuous improvement.

8. Automate processes.

9. Encourage breaks.

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