Build the Ultimate Affordable Home Office Setup

Find Budget-friendly Tech to Suit Your Needs

77% of American employees worked from home during 2020

Work-from-home opportunities and the rise of alternative workplaces have changed not only where we work, but how we work. Today’s telecommuting is only possible through reliable technology and a relatable environment. In simpler terms: people need the right tools and a place they feel comfortable in. It takes a laptop that can last all day, a strong Wi-Fi signal, and a comfy chair to get the job done.

In 2020, as many as 77% of American employees worked from home. Of this majority, 72% wish to continue working remotely at least two days per week. Employees have embraced the benefits of telework. But with comfier digs and flexible work schedules comes the need for better tech. Gearing up for this long-term trend requires having the right gear, and that’s why many people are investing in upgrading their home setups.

Telecommuting isn’t the only reason people are stocking up on tech, either. Online education is on the rise at every grade level. Gaming has never been more immersive, with 4K graphics and VR delivering amazing experiences to players. Even our hobbies demand better tech as streaming video and cross-platform applications define our experiences.

There’s never been a better time to upgrade your home office and at-home tech. The question is, how do you do it without breaking the bank? Is there such a thing as top-of-the-line, affordable computer technology?

Absolutely. You just need to know where to look! The best place to start is at Dell Outlet.

The Modern (Affordable) Home Office

A home office needs to provide a comparable level of support to the traditional workplace. That support starts with tech. Laptops with superior processing power. Monitors with crisp graphics and quick refresh rates. Routers capable of handling broad bandwidth demands. Docking stations for easy and convenient charging. The quality and suitability of your tech matters.

According to Sara Sutton, renowned voice in the remote/flex work world, these technologies and more set the standard for a superior remote work experience. Sara is the Founder and CEO of FlexJobs, and also Founder of as well as 1 Million for Work Flexibility, the first national initiative in support of remote work.

“It doesn't matter if you’re collaborating with a colleague several floors away, several cities away, or several states away—you’re still using remote technology to get things done. It's vital that remote workers have the tools and equipment they need to be communicative and productive from home. That includes specific equipment like a second full monitor, a full keyboard and mouse, or a headset. Consider what will make you productive and efficient because how you set up your home office is crucial to your success.”

Quote from Sara Sutton

Having the right tech is one thing. Arranging it to form a dedicated home office is another. While many first-time telecommuters find themselves working from the kitchen table or an easy chair in the living room, this isn’t a sustainable approach to remote work. You need a dedicated space, according to Jacob Cass, CEO and Founder of JUST Creative:

“The number one priority for building a home office is space. Do what makes sense while you’re at home. It's your space; make it your space. You need to feel comfortable to be able to focus, and you have to be able to mentally and physically enjoy that space to be the most productive.”

Quote from Jacob Cass

Affordability is another key consideration for most home offices. You may be doing company work, but you’re doing it with your equipment. Even if you’re fully reimbursed for work-related tech purchases, it pays to be cost-savvy. There are plenty of cost-efficient options and buying strategies out there, according to Nicole Brady, Founder of

“I'm all about getting the most bang for your buck. This is really important when you go to buy anything. If you are going to be traveling and need a device that goes with you, for example, look at either a laptop or a tablet of some sort, so you can utilize it in your home as well as away. It might not be what you would typically choose as your first choice, but it's going to be the best thing to save money. And, if you buy the best thing you can at that time and you make it work, you're going to be able to save up and buy an additional monitor or something else for your home office later.”

Quote from Nicole Brady

Quality. Comfort. Affordability. These are the hallmarks of the modern office—values every new remote worker needs to ground themselves in. Not coincidentally, they’re also the drivers behind products featured at Dell Outlet.

The Hallmarks of the Modern Office

Ergonomics is part of a broader scope of workplace wellness.

Wellness Check(list): Home Office Ergonomics

Here’s a fairly common scenario: Your job is 40 hours a week. Your side gig is another 15. Your hobbies take up your remaining time. All told, you might be spending dozens of hours in your home office, which makes ergonomics a top priority. Physical wellness is important.

Ergonomics go far beyond a comfortable chair (although, that’s a good start). There’s a world of posture, alignment, and weight distribution options to consider as you set up your home office to be a bastion of comfort. Even beyond that, ergonomics simply means aiming to create an environment where you feel good and can be productive. Few things are more important for your success, according to Sara:

“Having an ergonomic setup is critical. In our most recent survey of more than 7,300 professionals, 97% said they'd be more productive working from home, in large part due to the ergonomic and wellness benefits. Specifically, 48% said they'd be more productive because of the more personalized office environment in their home office, 59% cited quieter noise levels, 50% said more comfortable clothes would play a key role. Stress reductions from fewer distractions, reduced commuting, fewer meetings, and minimal office politics were also big factors.”

Quote from Sara Sutton

What do ergonomics look like for your home office? There are a few universal standards to consider, like good posture and posture-supportive furniture, as well as monitor position to maintain head and neck posture. Ergonomics can even extend to home office design, according to Sara:

“For an ergonomic space, there are some basics that remote workers shouldn't overlook: dual monitors are hands-down the most impactful. I’m also a fan of a wireless keyboard and a separate mouse. Wellness can also be supported by your office's overall look and feel. When it comes to decor, I try to keep it simple and include only things that energize or excite to see. Something that reminds me of previous career milestones, beautiful artwork, and pictures of my family, for example.”

Quote from Sara Sutton

The beauty of ergonomics is that it extends to all types of home office setups. You might use a standing desk to alleviate low back pain or arrange your desk to keep everything within arm’s length, like Scott D. Clary, seasoned media expert, marketing executive, and host of the Success Story podcast:

“I have an interesting home office setup because not only am I on Zoom calls for the majority of the day, I also broadcast and podcast throughout the day as well. That requires me to have a working space, two screens, mic, camera, lighting and storage space, all within about five feet.”

Quote from Scott D. Clary

Ergonomics is part of a broader scope of workplace wellness—something many new remote workers tend to overlook. The combination of a familiar space and a new work routine can lead to negative habits and tendencies: Slouching on the couch. Craning closer to the screen. Squinting against screen glare. These negatives add up fast to cause new telecommuters a lot of grief—and can even lead them to dislike their office setup.

Don’t fall victim to remote work wellness pitfalls! Instead, place a priority on ergonomics and other health-minded habits as you develop your home office. Get plenty of natural sun (sans screen glare). Take breaks, stand up, walk around, and stretch. Drink more water! Simple wellness considerations will keep you alert, limber, and happy in your home office.

Best of all, these health-minded home office improvements are often free! It costs you nothing to adopt activities that make wellness your number one priority.

Be frugal and forward-thinking.

Affordable Home Office Technology Essentials

What kind of tech do you need to successfully work from home? That depends. Take stock of the technologies that make it possible to do your job. Then, build your at-home command center around these components, with affordability in mind. Start your search and build your battle station from these three groups of home office technology essentials.

Affordable Computer Technology

It’s easier than you think to find quality computer tech at lower prices today. You don’t likely need the latest and greatest, top-of-the-line model laptop. You might not even need a brand-new out-of-the-box option, according to Nicole:

“It's going to be really important for you to try to find a device that’s affordable. Sometimes that’s going to mean looking at refurbished units or possibly pre-owned products, and looking at the deals on a website like Dell Outlet where it's still quality products.”
Look at features available to you and what you’re getting for your money. You might be surprised at how inexpensive great laptops, monitors, and accessories are, sans features you didn’t need in the first place. Do you really need 16GB of RAM for word-processing or a huge SSD if your files live in the cloud? Assess what you need and what you don’t need, cutting costs where you can.

Home Office Computer and Accessory Necessities

What are the core necessities and how can you get them at the most affordable cost? Start with the basics: computer and monitor (or laptop), mouse and keyboard, webcam, telephone, chair, and desk. Here again, Nicole offers wise words on why it’s crucial to invest in the essentials, without breaking the bank on home office tech:

“Any time you purchase essential electronics, you want to get the most bang for your buck at that given point in time. One of the reasons is longevity. But aside from that, it comes down to productivity and efficiency. If you don't have the most beneficial tools at your disposal, you're not going to get the job done as effectively. You want to have the best electronics to get your job done well.”

Quote from Nicole Brady

Don’t skimp on the essentials and be careful when defining the core necessities of your home office. That said, be frugal and forward-thinking. Shoot for manageable cost, with the intent of hitting on maximum value. Turning the best budget computer into something you use for years means more return on investment—especially if you rely on it daily.

Best Budget Computer Options

The world of tech is extremely brand-driven. It’s easy to get wrapped into an ecosystem that’s costlier than it needs to be. Avoid ardent brand loyalty in favor of individual products with a proven track record for reliability. Not only is this a more affordable approach to building your command center, you’ll avoid traps like forced obsolescence and brand-specific synergies.

You’ll find some of the best budget computer options at the product level. Behind the late-model, just-introduced laptop that just hit the market for $1,200, there’s a comparable Dell model for half the price. Instead of a brand-new 24” 4K monitor for $250, there’s a pre-owned model for $50 cheaper. Every smart decision counts and every dollar adds up. Does the brand name really matter if it performs? Does new or used make a difference if it works flawlessly for years to come?

Don’t compromise on your home office essentials—but at the same time, don’t break the bank. There are plenty of options that meet both functionality and affordability criteria. Find something that works well and doesn’t cost a lot—then take care of it. While others fall victim to upgrade cycles, your home office will keep on cruising

Don't compromise on your home office essentials, but don't break the bank.

What Do I Need for My Budget-friendly Home Office Setup?

While every work-from-home candidate needs the bare essentials, it’s likely your setup will go above and beyond. Professionals who deal with audio, video, and graphics will find the need for mics, cameras, and lighting. People who switch between work and play on the same rig may demand more from their computer. What are the expectations for your home office setup?

Building a Family Command Center

If you’re not the only person who’ll use the home office, consider the broader needs of the family. Your family command center needs to live up to everyone’s expectations to be a good investment. From mom’s finance tracking, to gaming and tech for education for the kids, to multimedia and cloud apps for dad, create a setup everyone can appreciate. That means thinking about multi-user frameworks, securities, and controls.

In some homes, your family command center might not necessarily be any one machine—rather, a family network. The same core tenets still apply and the need for synergy is paramount with a home full of plugged-in people, according to Nicole:

“We have multiple computers in multiple rooms, but we have a hard drive that all of us share access to. The reason that we do that is so that we can all add family photos, we can share calendars, we can access each other's email if we need to. There's a lot of different things that we have done to connect our computers together, even though we're in very different parts of the house.”

Quote from Nicole Brady

PCs for Play: Budget Gaming Computers

Gaming rigs can get very expensive, very quickly. The floor for modern gaming specs is high, and there’s almost no ceiling—you can keep adding processing power and memory, with greater and greater capabilities. But just because you can spend upwards of $5,000 on a gaming computer doesn’t mean you should. In fact, budget gaming computers offer real promise to casual gamers.

Start with a stock machine at a bargain basement price. Alienware desktops offer proven performance for less than half the price of pro gaming rigs. Prefer to game on-the-go? Alienware laptops are even more affordable and offer a range of spec options, capable of handling modern games with ease. Once you’ve found an affordable machine with the right specs, consider strategic upgrades. Filling up RAM slots is an affordable enhancement, as is swapping an HHD or SSHD for a pure SSD.

Keep opportunities for future performance upgrades in mind when buying a budget gaming computer. Your affordable rig might run games at a high frame rate with ease today… but is it ready for the AAA titles of next year? The year after? Buy a PC that’s easy to retrofit, with good core components that’ll stand up for the long haul: case, motherboard, cooling, and hard drive. Plan to upgrade the video card and RAM in the future. Compromising now and upgrading later is a great way to stretch your dollar. Think of it as enterprise asset maintenance for your home office setup!

Budget gaming computers offer real promise to casual gamers.

The Comprehensive Home Tech Stack

For the more serious professional or hobbyist who wants an extensive setup that covers broad tech capabilities, it’s time to plan for a high-tech home office. Look beyond the basics at potential gadgets, accessories, and components worth the investment. For many professionals, this encapsulates a broad spectrum of tech. Take it from Jacob:

“I have a monitor, a very comfortable mouse and keyboard and a big screen. I also have my laptop, which I can take wherever if I need to. It’s all hooked up together. Beyond that, I have a light ring for lighting up my face, a webcam for video, a green screen, and a camera. And that includes all the cords and lighting gear as well. I’m even hoping to get teleprompters as I grow out my recording space!”

Quote from Jacob Cass

Again, this means product-level purchases. Don’t get attached to any one brand. Expose yourself to a complete range of options and give yourself (and your wallet) the benefit of total optionality. Not only does objectivity lend itself to a complete home tech stack, it creates natural convenience. Just ask Scott:

“The most integral parts of my office are my Dell laptop as my primary PC, as well as my two video lights, Canon EOS m50, Blue YETI microphone, floodlights for ambient lighting and meticulous cabling job. That allows me to do everything I could need to do, work or record, all from one comfortable position.”

Whether you’re a worker bee, have kids who stream online gaming, or live in a house where everyone is online all the time with different needs, there’s a lot to consider when building the ideal home office. Put your total household needs and wants into perspective before you build out a command center, and keep affordability top-of-mind as you establish your at-home tech hub.

Keep affordability top-of-mind as you establish your at-home tech hub.

Thinking Ahead: The High-Tech Home Office of Tomorrow

Many people are building their very first at-home office, while many more upgrade the ones they have in anticipation of a future rife with remote work opportunities. What does that future look like? It’s hard to tell! Technology evolves rapidly and global trends move nearly as fast. Who’s to say what the future of remote work or high-tech home offices will be? For Jacob, the future of the at-home office is one rooted in comfort.

“People need something that makes them comfortable, where you can focus and feel at home working and be able to get into the flow of working. That's different for everyone. For me, I love a minimal desk, I keep things very tidy and organized. But that's just me! I know many other people love inspiration all around them; they love being in that zone. But I like focus and I like a clean image, so a comfortable working environment is key.”

Quote from Jacob Cass

As more and more people transition to telecommuting for the first time, Nicole believes the home office will become more of a home base—a place where people will do work, while learning how to be flexible and efficient.

“In the past, it had always been more of an emergency where people had to work from home if they had a traditional office. The recent necessity of people staying home has, I think, opened a lot of professionals and business owners’ eyes to the fact that employees can be functional at home, and still get the job done, and get it done well, and get it done efficiently. If you set up your office to be functional and to be professional, you can be in the mindset to work from home.”

What is certain is that investing in smart, affordable, reliable home office technology today is what will enable a future of remote work, telecommuting, and digital connectivity. From workers to gamers, solopreneurs to plugged-in families and small business owners, there’s a world of affordable computer technology out there, waiting to be compiled into the perfect home office setup. Happy building!
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