The office landscape has vastly changed in the last decade. Anyone with a smartphone can video call, and conferencing apps have made it less and less necessary to have employees in the office. Companies can make themselves more desirable and have less overhead by allowing employees to have a partial or full work-from-home schedule. More people than ever are starting their own businesses from home. When planning your own space, follow these helpful tips for home office organization.
The most important piece of office equipment is a computer. First make the decision as to whether you’ll need a desktop or laptop computer. If you plan on having meetings outside of the office or doing work on the go, then a laptop is the best choice. Desktops can be a good choice if you want to keep your work confined to the office and draw a clearer work/home boundary, but they take up more physical space at your desk.
Since your entire business will live and die by your files, devise a set-it-and-forget-it backup system. Don’t rely on your hardware, external storage drives, or flash drives. Set your computer to automatically back up your files to the cloud every day. Keep up with the latest anti-virus software like Norton or McAfee.
Be diligent about your file organization. Don’t clutter your computer desktop; the more files on your desktop, the slower your machine will run. Keeping organized with your file names and save locations will save you time searching through files later.
If you are lucky enough to carve out a space for an office in your home, keep your home and work areas separated as much as possible. If you have a desk in a corner of a bedroom, don’t make it a drop zone for miscellany. You will eat away your work time if you have to spend half an hour each day clearing away clutter just to get to your laptop.
Many couples have to share an office space. If space allows for it, get two desks. Even if you have mostly opposite schedules, separate desks make for a more harmonious work environment.
Treat yourself. You will spend endless hours in your office. Make it a space where you enjoy spending time. First choose the right chair. Test them out before you buy. Comfort is key. A cool lucite mid-century modern chair might not be the best choice for a 9-5 workday. Choose a comfortable, ergonomic chair that won’t leave your back and neck straining by the end of the day.
For the fitness-minded, there are a variety of new options for incorporating a healthy lifestyle in your office. There are balance-ball chairs for engaging your core while sitting, and elliptical machines for working your feet under your desk. For your desk itself you can go with a new treadmill desk for walking while you work. There are also standing desk options or convertible desks that go from traditional height to standing height, because some days you just need to rest!
Keep charging cords organized and tucked away. Use bread bag clips and write on them with sharpie what the cord is for. Use binder clips to secure the cords to the side or bottom of the desk.
Print and display photos of your family to keep you inspired. If you have customers who come to your home office, they’ll love seeing the photos and making a more personal connection with you. If printing photos isn’t your thing, try a digital photo frame with rotating pictures.
Don’t overdo it with the office supplies. There may be a great sale on paper clips, but it will take you years to use them all and you’ll have to store them. Buying smaller amounts of supplies may be more expensive than buying in bulk, but you’ll save money by not having to buy cabinets, shelves, and drawers to keep everything organized.
Paper can be the most difficult thing to manage in an office. Minimize paper storage with a bookkeeping program like Quickbooks. Get a receipt scanner or photograph bills that aren’t electronic, then toss them. For the paper you absolutely must store, a file cabinet doesn’t have to be an ugly metal box. Many desks incorporate file storage in their drawers or find a cute storage chest that doubles as a table.
If your home is your castle, your home office is your kingdom. Keep the kingdom running smoothly with an organized and productive space. If these tips still leave you unsure of where to start – don’t hesitate to reach out to Dallas Custom Closets for help!