So, you’re working from home now?
And you’re wondering who is going to pay for a home office setup that’s conducive to carrying out great work on behalf of your clients or employer?
Well, unfortunately, the answer to that question is “it depends” and mostly it depends on the kind of work that you do and your contract.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t have any influence on who pays for a good office chair, either even when the paperwork is not in your favor.
Freelancers Pay Their Own Way – Mostly
Firstly, we should point out that while we love freelancers (as this writer is a freelancer) if you want to upgrade your current office chair, then you will need to pay for it if you work as a freelancer.
Your clients don’t pay for home office gear, at least, not directly any more than they pay for your internet access – it’s down to you to charge them enough so that you can take your pick of the premium chairs that are featured in our sustainable office chairs round-up and pay for it yourself.
Newly remote workers in need of pressure-free comfort and on a tight budget, will want to cut corners on a new chair, but we’d recommend that you don’t – if you want to freelance for years to come?
Then you’re going to spend every day on that chair – invest in it. (And then take a look at the tax section below).
Employees May Get Everything Paid For And They May Not
When it comes to employees home office equipment then you’d think this would be obvious and home office expenses would be met by the employer?
Well, no. It all depends on your contract.
While more than half of employers do help with the cost of furnishing home offices and some pay for everything employees working on their behalf need? Many don’t have a budget for ergonomic chairs and ensuring that you have the right back support and good posture all day long.
Now, this used to be fair enough. Employers with workers working from home used to only really cater to a remote workforce that was earning very well, indeed.
Those workers were saving enough money by being out of the office that they could easily afford a chair and other furniture that met their needs.
But in a post-pandemic world? Many companies have now allowed workers to go remote with much lower levels of pay.
While many of these employers will provide a laptop, laptops are often as far as they go, at least, when you look at who is responsible for paying costs in your contract.
However, we would note that you shouldn’t expect to fail at the first hurdle and instead, you ought to go and talk to your employer about what you need anyway.
Learn To Negotiate: Do You Need An Office Chair or A Premium Office Chair?
Firstly, if you want a company to pay for your ergonomic chairs, etc. then you should start to think like a leader.
If you can convince them that they have the same purpose as you do when you incur a cost – they’re going to be much more likely to cover that cost.
So tie your chair purchase to productivity and performance, and even (if you can make the leap) to increased revenue.
Show them that an investment in a comfy chair will be paid back in the foreseeable future with interest. Make sure to stress that the chair is for business use and can be returned to the company if you leave the job, the same can be true if you want a new desk, by the way.
Or maybe, they just want to be sure that you’ll take care of it properly – see our guide to cleaning your home office chair wheels for an example of proper maintenance?
Whatever it is? Find out. Then show you can do that in order to get a deal with your company for your costs.
Don’t Fight Everything: Let The Premium Office Chairs Go
You may need to let some things go to win other considerations from your company.
If they’re not obliged to meet all your expenses – they may not be prepared to negotiate on certain things. Focus on the battles you can win.
Tax Implications Should Be Considered
Freelancers rejoice – your home office chairs, etc. are tax-deductible.
Sadly, for employees, they are not a deductible expense – this is another good reason for your company to pay, they can get a tax deduction for your equipment.
Final Thoughts On Paying For Home Office Furniture
You will spend most of your working life in a sitting position. You need to be able to sit comfortably. That means buying a good chair no matter what. Then, with luck, your employers will pay for it – but if not, consider it an investment in your future health.
For freelancers, sadly, you need to buy your own chair but you can claim some of the cost back as a reimbursement against taxes.