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Buy, Lease, or Reimburse At-Home Office Furniture

These days, many businesses are offering employees the flexibility of working from home. This brings up a tricky question. How should you provision office furniture for workers who maintain a home office?


You can simply requisition and purchase office furniture for employees who are working at home in the same way you do for those who work at the office. The furniture rental blogger over at CORT recommends providing a workstation that is identical to the one the employee was using in the office to make the transition easier and maintain productivity. Of course, that only works if the employee has enough space to set aside for a full sized desk in their house. Some might only have room for a tiny corner desk like the one in the photo above.


If you lease, it’s easier to let the employee have some input on the size and style of office furniture you provide. After all, if they don’t like it you can always exchange it. You could even have the employee lease the furniture directly under their own name. That way, they can choose whatever they want (based on the monthly budget you provide). Plus, you aren’t stuck trying to retrieve the furniture from their home if they quit. It’s the leasing company’s job to be the repo man. On the down side, when you let an employee handle the process you may end up paying more than if your company negotiated the contract.


One of the simplest ways to handle provisioning office furniture for remote telecommuters is to let the employee expense it to the company. However, you may want to make some recommendations for the right office furniture to buy. You don’t want an off-site employee sitting in a poorly designed office chair all day at home. They need to purchase the same high quality, ergonomic office furniture that your on-site employees enjoy.


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