The Write-Offs: Four Guilt-Free Home Office Upgrades

By on June 21, 2013

The Write-Offs: Four Guilt-Free Home Office Upgrades

There are certain items that I’ve always deemed too luxurious for my workspace. My first workspace had my Dell, some cabinets, and a bunch of papers strewn about. A combination of not quite understanding how taxes work and fear ended up with the place where I sit for eight hours a day looking pretty sparse. I’ve now learned what write-offs are, how business expenses work, and a whole slew of other stuff I wish I’d known since my teens. I’m only just now realizing the benefits of a great workspace, and the satisfying clack of the mechanical keyboard that I recently picked up has made sending emails fun again.

 I’ve listed a couple that I ended up liking. I didn’t suggest the Cadillac of desk accessories, because I don’t think anyone actually needs anything that expensive. I hope this list will make your day just a little more productive,.

1. Sit Comfortably.

A comfortable chair is something that people forget about in the office. We’ll drop hundreds of dollars on recliners and sofas, but the place where we sit for most of our day is left to the wayside. Features like lumbar support sound nice at surface level, but I believe that the best part about the chair is how it makes you feel. After a lifetime of sitting uncomfortably in the aptly named simple task chair, I picked up something a little more upscale. I’ve written it off and never looked back. I have, however, turned backwards and forwards because task chairs spin. Sometimes it’s fun to spin.

2. Rethink Your Desk

The greatest part about working out of a home office is that no one can judge you for owning a standing desk. Our bodies weren’t made to sit all day, but there’s a certain stigma that comes with being the only person that chooses to stand. Home is kind of like the empty void of space, except instead of hearing you scream your coworkers can’t watch you do calisthenics between work emails. When looking in to buying a desk, consider what options you’ll actually use. If you’re disorganized, invest in something with less surface space so you’re forced to clean regularly. Pre-fitted shelving is useless unless you’re someone that keeps a tidy office.

3. Get a Solid-state Drive. Seriously.

Solid-state drives (SSDs) are a bit cheaper now. After using one for a couple of months I can definitely promise you that they’re worth the price. Restarting my computer has gone from a couple of frustrating minutes to around 15 seconds, applications open instantly, and everything just works quicker. If you’re working on a Mac laptop, there’s even a way to replace the generally-useless CD drive with an SSD relatively cheaply. My goal with computer hardware, and I’m pretty sure you’ll agree, is to make things run as smoothly as possible. A solid-state drive has brought me one step closer to that goal.

4. Make typing fun again

I’m a child of the ‘80s. This means I grew up using keyboards that were closer to typewriters than the sleek, wireless Mac keyboards of the now. Mechanical keyboards are one of those concepts that just sort of phased out as companies developed cheaper, quieter iterations of the keyboard. I rediscovered my love for that satisfying click with the Das Keyboard. It’s a hyper-optimized version of the old Model M, and produces a gratifying noise with every keystroke. Some love it, some hate it, but I think it made typing fun again. If you’ve ever wanted to make a simple email sound like you’re hacking the mainframe: This is the way to do it.

Taxes are weird. Graduating from school, getting a job, and building your home office are equally weird. Making it fun to sit down for a productive day will make you more efficient and hopefully give you the extra boost you need to come up with the game changing ideas that the world needs to see. Good luck, and happy shopping.

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Matthew Toren

About Matthew Toren

Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley). He's based in Vancouver, B.C.