Spruce Up Your Home Office
So you work at home. Good for you. But all you have for an office is a closet-sized space that you dread going into. No matter how little space you have, there are ways to save space and spruce up your work area so that it’s a place you enjoy spending your day in. According to 360 ezine, a small workstation can work just as well as a larger one. Their space-saving tips include:
- Make maximum use of space with shelves, overheads and towers, nesting pedestals and tables.
- More with less. Three people can work comfortably in a 10’ x 10’ space with a trio of 120º workstations.
- Going up? If your real estate is limited, make good use of vertical space with towers, overheads bins, shelves and hanging pencil cups, paper clip trays, etc.
- A side table extends your work area and helps keep your main work surface free of clutter.
- Two-for-one: A mobile pedestal can double as a visitor seat with the addition of a seat cushion.
Writingcorner.com adds their two cents:
- Use a lateral filing cabinet as opposed to a standard vertical cabinet. Lateral cabinets hold more files.
- Store older files and research away from your office space. Box, label and store the files in another room or closet.
- Only keep current projects on your desk. Use stackable file trays for easy access and to save space.
- Use a dry erase board to track assignments, i.e. what's due and what's finished. Customize it to fit your needs.
- If possible, store only the supplies needed in your office space. Store extra supplies in an accessible closet or under your bed.
- Set aside one morning or afternoon each month to make a clean sweep through your office. File finished projects or remove them totally if you won't need it in the near future.
Even if you’re the only one spending time in your home office, Psychology Today reports that the décor says something about you:
Plants and foliage: Well-tended plants hint at a person who intends to stick around.
Post-it notes: A deluge indicates a person who feels in over his or her head.
Time and time again: Task-oriented people tend to be conscious of the time and often have a time piece on hand. Clock lovers are usually thorough and hardworking.
Family photographs: Psychologists haven't reached a consensus on this one, with some saying family photos are a status symbol and others maintaining they're displayed out of guilt from too much time spent in the office or to genuinely remind one of beloved family members. How they're displayed could provide clues. If they're facing visitors, they could be for show. If oriented toward the person, motivations are more personal.
Motivation plaques, posters, etc.: This indicates engagement in the job and a desire to stay motivated.
Posters of famous people or historical figures: Hints at values and aspirations.
Neatness: We may try to mask untidiness by dumping items in drawers but psychologists assert that this personality trait is very resistant to change. "No matter how hard people try to clean up, usually they can never fully hide their true nature." A spick-and-span work area suggests a neat and organized individual.
Just bare: Empty work spaces hint at a person with little status in the company and who likely is not committed to his or her job.
Before you redecorate your home office:
- Invite customers, friends and coworkers to suggest improvements that can be made in your office, interior and exterior; ask for comments on professionalism—both in décor, and in staff as well.
- Take a good look at your décor, paint, furniture, clutter, greenery, cleanliness, etc.
- Notice the atmosphere. Does it seem professional, inviting, comfortable, clean and neat?
- Visit other professional offices for comparison.
Add Your Own Personal Touch
You don’t need to spend a pile of cash to personalize your workspace. There are small touches you can add that cost very little. Why not add:
- A colorful mouse pad that reflects one of your interests
- Scenic, motivational or hobby calendars
- Personal photos in colorful, unique frames
- Motivational posters
- Little touches like motivational pencils (yes, pencils) or other small items that give you a mental boost when you use them