Britons working from home have forked out almost £2 billion on desks, laptops, printers and other equipment during lockdown, as they transform their living rooms and spare bedrooms into makeshift offices.
Of the more than 18 million people working from home, more than two-fifths (seven million) have blown an estimated £233 each, while half a million have spent more than £500.
The spending splurge was revealed in a survey by comparison website Uswitch.com, which asked office workers whether they had to spend more to prepare their homes for lockdown.
The research revealed that headphones were the most-needed home-working essential, with an estimated 2.2 million sold, followed by stationery, at 1.9 million, and laptops and desks at 1.7 million each.
More than 1.5 million chairs are thought to have sold, alongside 1.3 million printers, and 1.1 million mobile phones.
‘As lockdown starts to lift, millions of employees plan to keep doing their job from home, with staff spending £233 on average in turning their home into a productive place of work,’ said Nick Baker, broadband expert at Uswitch.com.
‘Employees are realising that having a stable broadband connection isn’t the only thing they need to work from home, with millions buying new equipment to create their own mini-offices.
‘When you’re purchasing office equipment, don’t be tempted to buy the first thing you spot online.
‘Take time to shop around and compare what’s available out there, making sure that any deals include the cost of delivery, especially for bulky items like desks.’
In the survey, Uswitch.com talked to 2,004 adults between May 15 to 18 this year. They then weighted their results nationally to provide estimates for the UK.
Around 18.5 million adults are thought to be working from home during lockdown, and are likely to continue doing so until September.
A comparison of UK online searches, carried out by lovethesales.com at the end of April, found that interest in office equipment had surged.
Searches for office desks were up 400 per cent, office chairs up 300 per cent, and desk lamps up 225 per cent.
They also warned of steadily rising prices in response to rising demand.
Ebay also reported a sudden jump in sales during lockdown as buyers and sellers leapt onto the site.
It revealed in May that more than 50,000 businesses had signed up as independent retailers since lockdown began.
Shopper numbers on the sales were also shown to have doubled, reports The Guardian, as families switched to buying online.