When teams move to remote work, companies and employers will often issue a stipend, a per-diem of sorts that would normally be spent on workplace perks and office-related expenses.
However, this is often not “free” money. Employers want to know their stipend budget is improving employee comfort and productivity, not just padding their retirement fund.
So while you can’t put the whole stipend into TSLA and see what happens, there are some great investments that will make your employer happy, but also benefit you on weekends, holidays, and even when you’ve returned to the office.
Has your employer issued you a WFH stipend? Here’s three places to put that money that will make your employer happy, and benefit you in more ways than just office comfort and/or satisfaction.
Quality headphones with a quality mic
This is a no-brainer. Quality headphones benefit everyone. Thou who has clear, uninterrupted audio on the Zoom call shall be looked upon fondly by all.
Seriously, coming through loud n’ clear over Zoom is a valuable asset, and just makes you look like you have your sh*t together. And, of course, when you’re not working, the same pair of headphones will improve your workouts, podcast listening, gaming, etc.
You really can’t go wrong with a quality pair of headphones (these ones are, in my humble opinion, the best. Sorry Dre.)
Semi-Permanent Partition Walls
You thought we were gonna say a standing desk, didn’t you? No, here’s something that will actually improve your quality of life, within and outside of working hours.
Modular walls can be purchased online and sent directly to your home, giving you the freedom to assemble a new room in under an hour. For those with roommates, kids, family members...all of the above… this one can be life changing.
As recent studies have shown, housemates make up the majority of distractions, and therefore create the biggest challenges to productivity. Given it can take 23 minutes to get refocused after your dog jumps onto your lap (or kid, or whatever), this is something your boss will definitely appreciate.
Not to mention, when you’re working, eating, relaxing, and sometimes even sleeping in the same space, it can feel nearly impossible to turn off the work brain. Finally having a designated room for your work (they used to call them offices, back in the olden days) can give you (and your family) the separation you all need.
As said by management expert Dr. Timothy Golden of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Research shows that if you have space within your home for a separate room…you can physically, emotionally and psychologically isolate yourself away from the household demands and distractions”.
What makes this such an incredible investment is the reusability of the kits. They can be quickly disassembled, reconfigured, and stored if your employer decides to call you back to work.
The same kit that you used for an office can become a closet space, storage space, or even a guest bedroom down the line.
Again, probably not what you were expecting, but hear me out.
Having adequate storage for your home and office supplies makes tidying the space more of a thoughtless routine, rather than a cleaning hassle. As written by Charlese Duhigg in his bestselling book The Power of Habit; “if you want to do something that requires willpower—like going for a run after work—you have to conserve your willpower muscle during the day”.
You know what eats willpower? Finding a place to put your pens, books, cables, headphones, etc every time your desk gets cluttered.
As studies have shown that clutter reduces your ability to process information, your employer should have no problem with this valuable addition to your setup. And even when you return to the office or switch careers, your clean, organized home will always be an asset.