We used to the see the office as not just a place to work, socialize and gossip by the water cooler, but as an abundant supplier of things like paperclips, staplers, paper and, of course, a desk. Things became a little bit different when we had to start working from home during lockdown, however. It’s not something many Americans are used to doing, so it soon became apparent most of us would have to provide some of our own equipment to set up a home office. But how much has this cost us?

ThisIsWhyImBroke.com, a website that offers unique gifts, surveyed 3,000 workersto find out. And, on average,since they started working from home, Marylandershave each spent a not-inconsiderate $168, to make sure they had the proper office equipment to carry out our jobs(compared to a national average of $181). We’re not sure if workers in New Hampshire were showing off, or just came from a base point of being ill-equipped, but they spent the most: $350. Now, that’s a lot of paperclips. The better-equipped workers of Montana, however, have spent the least in the nation on WFH office supplies, spending just $50 on their WFH office supplies.

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In order of importance, the gear people bought the most were, perhaps unsurprisingly, laptops (35%), followed by headphones (30%) - these turned out to be crucial for all those Zoom meetings. 12% thought a decent chair was key to comfort, with a good desk close behind at 7.5%. Then there’s stationery, at 8% (pretty useful), and some even committing to buying their own printer (7%).

Surprisingly,over half (59%) ofemployeessaid they will continue to work from home for the rest of 2020, if their boss offers that option, despite 28% of them admitting that slow home internet speeds have affected their job performance.

It’s clear that as new home workers, we didn’t realize how much stuff we’d actually need in our home office,’ says Adam Freedmanfrom ThisIsWhyImBroke.com. ‘Things we take for granted that are supplied to us by our employer, like desks and stationery, suddenly become really important when we’re working from our living rooms every day! It always pays to have the right equipment; let’s hope sympathetic employers will reimburse their workers, though!’