Looking for ideas on how to spend your remote work stipend from your employer? You’ll find everything you need to setup the perfect work from home office, along with these 41 items you can buy for it in this guide.
It’s 2022, and more and more companies are adopting a virtual workforce. This enables them to attract top talent around the world, save money on office leases, and still get work done efficiently. For employees, remote jobs allow more time with friends and family, no wasted hours commuting and increased flexibility. As a result, many companies offer their remote employees stipends for working from home. You can find everything you need to know about spending your remote work stipend in this guide along with a list of ideas on what to buy.
What is a Remote Work Stipend?
A remote work stipend, also known as a work from home stipend (wfh stipend), is an allotted amount of money provided to employees that work from home on office related expenses. The benefit allows employees to expense purchases related to enhancing their home workspace and experience, or cover costs normally paid for by employers for physical workspaces.
Best Ways To Spend Your Remote Work Stipend
Your desk is the centerpiece of your home office. Most of us won’t go as far as working from your bed, so you should probably invest in a good one. Standing desks provide great flexibility for those of us that have to spend half our waking hours working on a computer.
Herman Miller Office Chair – Get it on Amazon
As far as products for remote workers go, you should splurge on a good office chair. It’s kind of like a mattress, if you’re going to spend 8 hours in it a day, it might as well be the best that money can buy. Be prepared for a hefty price tag. Good office chairs can cost you a couple grand.
Price Range: $50-$2000
Samsung 4K Computer Monitor – Get it on Amazon
If you’re only working off a laptop and don’t know what to spend your remote stipend on, buyo a monitor now. Seriously. Even if it’s a cheap one, a split screen greatly enhances your productivity. Amazon has hundreds of options you can shop.
Price Range: $75 – $500
Shop laptops on Amazon
Although I’m not sure how you’d be doing working from home without one, you could easily use your work from home stipend to expense a laptop. Or… maybe a second one?
Price Range: $75- $5,000
Bluetooth Mechanical Keyboard – Get it on Amazon
No home office is complete without a wireless keyboard. Slack people from the toilet, your garden, it doesn’t matter! For those with good taste, swagged out color-schemed mechanical keyboards are a sweet way to level up your work from home setup.
Price Range: $25-$100
Ergonomic Bluetooth Mouse
ELECOM Wireless Bluetooth Mouse – Get it on Amazon
Ditch the trackpad on your laptop – use a mouse. Your productivity will double, unless you’re one of those psychos that can keyboard shortcut to kingdom come. Even then, you should probably have a mouse. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is real, so make sure it’s ergonomic too.
Price Range: $10-$60
Mouse pad – Get it on Amazon
If you’re going to use a mouse, a mouse pad is an obvious way to spend your remote work stipend.. Whether you love your job, or hate it, everybody wants to get their tasks done faster. You don’t want a slow moving, erratic, and disappearing cursor while you work.
Price Range: $10-$40
Weighted Blanket – Get it on Amazon
Comfort is key when working from home. What better way to use your WFH stipend than on a warm and cozy weighted blanket. Be careful not to fall asleep during those zoom meetings!
Work From Home Tech Gadgets Eligible For Reimbursement
Noise Cancelling Headphones
Apple Airpods Max – Get it on Amazon
Block out the noise (and the haters) with a solid pair of noise cancelling headphones using your company’s free money. Your remote work stipend can be used to finally get those Airpods Max Headphones you’ve always wanted.
Price Range: $50-$550
Logitech Ultra HD Webcam – Get it on Amazon
Nothing says professional like HD quality video conferencing technology. In the work from home era, the webcam is the new suit and tie. You can have amazing quality webcams for the price of a nice meal and will pay off for zoom meetings, interviews and hot girl selfies. This article unveils the hottest webcams of 2022 for remote workers.
Price Range: $20-$100
Blue Yeti USB Mic – Get it on Amazon
In a corporate setting, communication is key. A good microphone ensures that your voice is picked up by others loud and clear. If you care about how you present yourself, you should consider this item for your remote work setup.
Price Range: $20-$250
HP OfficeJet Pro 9015e – Get it on Amazon
You’ll be happy to hear that printer, ink and printer paper are all things eligible to spend your work from home stipend on. Don’t forget to get a stand for your printer right next to your work station.
Price Range: $70-$300
Linksys Smart Wifi Router – Get it on Amazon
Some companies may actually provide a separate internet stipend for employees that work remotely. If not, internet expenses are a great way to spend your allowance because you’re probably paying for the internet already anyways.
Price Range: $30-$100 per month
Power Strip – Get it on Amazon
Stay plugged in and connected with a multi outlet power strip to power your other work from home accessories. Why do they make outlets that only come with 2 plug-ins anyways?
Price Range: $5-$50
Wireless Phone Charger
3-in-1 Wireless Charging Station – Get it on Amazon
As a nice-to-have, wireless phone chargers are a great product for remote workers to buy.
Price Range: $12-$100
Seagate 12 TB Hard Drive – Get it on Amazon
Let’s get honest with each other for a minute. When’s the last time you backed up your computer? If you can’t answer that, you might want to consider getting a hard drive with your stipend. Just do it. And don’t waste your money on overpriced cloud storage just for your baby pictures.
Price Range: $20+
Docking Station or USB-C connector
USB-C Hub Adapter – Get it on Amazon
If you use a monitor (you 100% should), then you’re going to need a way to connect your work laptop to your monitor. Docking stations and USB-C connectors are essential products for remote workers. Be sure to snag one with multiple HDMI and USB ports for charging and dual monitors.
Price Range: $18+
Rockville Tower Speakers 10″ – Get it on Amazon
Any bass-heads in the house? Upgrade your home office setup with a pair of sweet bluetooth speakers. You’ll be jamming out and in the zone during your work day.
Price Range: $20+
KableRika LED Desk Lamp – Get it on Amazon
For those late-night grinders, we see you. A desk lamp is a great work from home accessory for any work station.
Price Range: $40-$200
Creative Ways to Spend Your Remote Work Stipend
Already have the above office essential office equipment or just looking for more? We’ve got you with these unconventional products for remote workers.
OrgaNice Hourglass Set – Get it on Amazon
Looking to make better use of your time? Productivity tools such as note-taking apps, calendar apps and task managers may be eligible ways to spend your home office stipend.
Price Range: $10+ per month
Fidget spinners, stress balls, rubix cubes and more. Small gadgets like these are perfect for fiddling with in times when you just need to decompress. Spend your free money on stress relief items if you have a few dollars left to spare.
Price Range: $5+
Music and Podcast Subscriptions
Amazon Prime Music – Try 30 free days on Amazon
Many people like to play music and podcasts while they’re working from home. As a way to focus, your employer may approve the purchase of a Spotify or Apple Music subscription.
Home Kitchen Coffee Equipment
Keurig K-Elite Coffee Maker – Get it on Amazon
No home office is complete without the proper coffee station setup. It may never replace the morning gossip that occurs around a cup of coffee in the office, but the caffeine lover in all of us will appreciate a Keurig and a nice coffee mug.
Price Range: $5+
Work From Home Decor
Wire Hanging Wall Grid – Get it on Amazon
Spice things up with a little bit of decor. A few plants and a painting will go a long way for the looks of your setup and make for a great zoom background!
Price Range: $5+
Leather Desk Pad – Get it on Amazon
Desk pads can be placed underneath your keyboard and mouse. You can find thousands of designs that fit your taste. They can also double as a mouse pad.
Price Range: $10-$150
Chair Floor Pad
Chair Mat for Office – Buy it on Amazon
If you have carpet floors and a chair with wheels, a chair pad for the floor is a must have work from home accessory.
Price Range: $30+
Cable Clips for Desk – Get it on Amazon
Inevitably, your home office is going to have wires on wires on wires. Use your remote work stipend to purchase cable clips and keep your wires tangle-free.
Price Range: $5+
Headphone Stand with Wireless Charger – Get it on Amazon
Think we’re running out of ideas? Think again. A headphone stand for your bluetooth noise-cancelling headphones is a sweet way to save room on your desk.
Price Range: $20+
Seat Cushion for Office Chair – Get it on Amazon
For those that don’t have the comfiest office chair, you can purchase a great seat cushion for a fraction of the price of buying a new chair. There are lumbar seat cushions for your back too.
Price Range: $10+
Under Desk Elliptical – Get it on Amazon
For the fitness freaks that need to constantly be moving, an under desk elliptical is a fun way to burn calories while you work.
Price Range: $40+
Trideer Extra thick Yoga Ball – Get it on Amazon
Tired of sitting in a chair all day? A yoga ball is a good substitute for an office chair and will force you to fire those ab muscles while you work. Be careful!
Price Range: $14.95+
It’s a pillow – for your feet! Doesn’t that just look relaxing?
Price Range: $8+
Under Desk Foot Cushion –Get it on Amazon
Shiatsu Neck Massager with Heat – Get it on Amazon
Iron out those knots in your neck from the stresses of remote work with a neck massager. These things are the best!
Price Range: $40+
Golf Putting Green Mat – Get it on Amazon
If your regular office can have a ping pong table, you should be able to buy similar fun things for your home office. Putting greens, dart boards, an x-box… this could be a hard sell to your employer, but it’s worth a shot.
Price Range: $10+
Buy on Amazon
Conventional Office Items for Remote Work Office
The following are must haves in the office whether that’s on the 99th floor in a high-rise in New York or in your bedroom.
Post-it Sticky Notes – Get it on Amazon
Designers and Product Managers live and die by sticky notes. On the window, on the mirror you name it. Save your quarters and use your remote working stipend for these cheap office staples.
Price Range: $1
But typing is so much faster! Yeah, but nothing helps me organize thoughts better than putting pen to paper. Try it out for a change.
Price Range: $5-$20
Executive Lined Journal Notebooks – Get it on Amazon
Yoobi 3-Ring Binders – Buy it on Amazon
Stay organized with color-coded binders for the boomers that still use paper.
Price Range: $5-$10
DEVAISE Filing Cabinet – Get it on Amazon
If you’re an ultra-boomer you’re gonna need a filing cabinet.
Price Range: $150+
Hardcover Daily Planner – Get it on Amazon
Stay organized and on-track with a planner. If you’re feeling lavish, invest in one with inspirational quotes to fire you up during your packed schedule of zooms.
Price Range: $10-$30
TRU RED Paper Shredder – Get it on Amazon
Quick, before the IRS comes knocking.
Price Range: $35+
2022 Wall Calendar – Get it on Amazon
Does anybody use these anymore? Oh well, sometimes they have cute puppies on them.
Price Range: $10-$30
Waterman Expert Deluxe Ball Point Pen – Get it on Amazon
Bet you forgot about good old pencils and pens.
Price Range: $1+
Now that you have the essentials for your home office, you’ll need to create your professional sanctuary.
Who knew there were so many items you could spend your remote work stipend on! Most work from home stipends are between $500 and $1000 so you’ll have plenty to buy. Now that you have the essentials for your home office, you’ll need to create your professional sanctuary.
Where Should You Setup Your Home Office?
Here’s a checklist of things to consider when deciding where to put your home office:
- Is this a spot where I’ll have privacy and minimal distractions?
- Is this a quiet part of the house conducive for focus?
- Is there a good amount of space for me to move freely and walk around a bit?
- Is there good natural lighting in the room? But not too much that I’m blinded?
- Is the floor a hard surface so your chair can wheel around freely?
- Do you like how the background looks in virtual meetings?
- Is it close to the kitchen so I can grab snacks in between meetings? 🙂
If yes to all those, then you’ve probably found yourself a pretty good spot for your work from home habitat. If not, you’ll be ok too. Just find something that works for you. With zoom backgrounds no one will ever know if you’re working in your bedroom or your garage.
How to Set Up Your Home Office to Maximize Productivity
Strategically setting up your home office is one of those things where 30 minutes of time can save you hundreds of hours over the long run.
Home Office Setup Checklist
- Arrange monitor(s) at eye-level directly in front of you on your desk. If you have multiple, the monitors should be aligned height-wise and directly side-by-side.
- Adjust your chair to the perfect settings. With your behind against the backrest of your chair, your feet should be able to rest flat on the ground with your knees at a 90 degree angle and you should have 3 inches between the chair and the back of your knees.
- Position your keyboard directly in front of you at a height where your elbows are at a 90 degree angle while typing. You shouldn’t have to strain to reach it
- Your mouse should be positioned just to the right or left of your keyboard.
- Position your webcam directly in front of you at a preferred height
- Have a designated space for taking notes
- Have a designated space for crap that tends to pile up like coffee mugs and snacks
- Keep any notebooks, folders or files you have organized in an easy to reach place
- Use your pencil holder to organize writing tools, highlighters or anything else you need
- Add decorations and accessories to make it your
Your remote work setup should be a good blend of practicality and aesthetics. We found this beautiful pinterest board of to-die-for home offices.
With that, I’m ready to leave my remote work setup for my second home office: my bed. Hopefully this comprehensive guide has given you ideas and even excited you about spending your remote work stipend. Feel free to leave comments below to share your home office setup and what you bought with your benefit.
Is your Remote Work Stipend Taxable?
With so many options, it might be hard to decide what you should buy to setup your home office. Hopefully this guide was a good starting point for you to spend the allowance given to you by your employer so you can work from your bed and watch Netflix without anyone bothering you.
As a general rule of thumb, stipends provided to employees by employers are considered taxable income. If you receive a remote work stipend, you should set aside money to pay taxes at the end of the year. However, Social Security and Medicare taxes do not need to be paid because stipends are not wages earned.
Now that you know all that there is to know about spending your remote work stipend it’s time to spend that cash!