Woman Doing Taxes

It is tax season! Again. If you are an accountant, I am wishing you the best of luck, as 2020 was a year like no other. Unemployment, stimulus checks, an insane housing market, and so much more – now it is time to put the pen to paper and get your taxes done, and hopefully get a refund check at the end of it.

If you are like me, you have been working from home, maybe for about a year, without the most ideal space. If you are even more like me, you set up your workspace in the corner of your childhood bedroom. To get ahead of the curve, I tried to be proactive this year and get my taxes done early so that I could get my hopeful refund check back sooner. Now that my taxes are out of the way and I have my refund deposited, I’ve been debating what I can do with it to enhance my life, specifically my work from home experience.

Finally Create a WFH Space

Until two weeks ago, I was still sitting in my horrendously uncomfortable kitchen-table chair. After nearly a year of searching online to find a desk chair that was my perfect combination of comfort and aesthetic, I finally decided on one. If you read my post from last August, you saw my work from home setup. My laptop propped up on my softcover Harry Potter series, my lack of mousepad, and an overabundance of pens and other straggling office supplies. I finally have ordered a new laptop stand, and matching mouse & keyboard. I also went into the office (or should I say cubicle graveyard?) and collected a few personal belongings to transform my space to the office setup I miss. I am ecstatic about these new additions.

Work From Home Setup

One thing I hear a lot from my co-workers is how they miss their sit-stand desks at our office. The ability to easily be even a bit more active during the day is a game changer. We recommend exploring ergonomic desk options from Vari® to find a flexible desk solution for your space.

If, like me and some of my co-workers, you’re struggling with making your space work for you, check out W.B. Mason’s selection of desk supplies and furniture – we’ve got what you need to stay organized and productive.

Invest in Yourself

While working from home has completely erased my commute (hello to having a 10-foot walk from my bed to my desk), it does not mean the bills have gone away. I still have my monthly car payment, and while my mileage has not increased nearly as much as it normally would, that does not lessen my installment or insurance payments. Trying to pay ahead has always been a goal of mine – especially if as a first-time car buyer like me, you took out the longest payment terms possible to make your payments cheaper.

Investing in yourself whenever you can is crucial for success, so make sure to assess how your current situation can be best handled to set yourself up for the future. Whether it be through building more financial stability or using the time you save on commuting for some self-care and relaxation, we can hopefully use these uncertain times to re-center ourselves and figure out what’s most important to us.

Comfort = Productivity

Many of my coworkers I am close with, along with friends and family, know that I love shopping. Particularly for clothes. Another challenge I, and many of us, have faced while working from home, is the motivation and willpower to wear real pants. If we are only on camera for a few hours a day, and it’s only our face in view, who says we need to wear our typical dress pants, can you tell I’m wearing a pair of pajama pants? Another investment I have made with my tax refund is getting some comfy lounge and leisure wear for those Zoom and Teams calls. Looking put together while also having comfort top of mind has made this year-long work from home adventure much more bearable.

This past year working from home has definitely set some things into perspective and has also forced me to look back and evaluate where I need to make investments, especially in my work from home space. My new chair was long overdue, and my back is eternally grateful for my upgrade from my kitchen chair. I am also glad that I can wear sweatpants while working and I may have to pass this suggestion along to my boss as a new line in the dress code policy when we go back into the office. Here are some other learnings I’d like to bring back to the office after working from home: make time for midday walks, don’t take water cooler chats for granted, and know that after this year we can handle almost anything.

If you are working from home and got your tax refund back, how are you saving or spending it?