With more people working from home in recent months, home office organization and design have become more critical than ever. From filing systems to proper desk equipment, your home office setup deserves to be both a soothing sanctuary and a zone of productivity. We spoke to Lana Reed, sales lead and design consultant for California Closets of Tennessee and Northern Alabama, and got the lowdown on how to take our home offices to the next level.
5 Key Features to Upgrade Your Home Office
1. Create cabinet space to conceal your clutter.
Your first home office goal should be to create a workspace free of miscellaneous items that can be tucked away. From staplers to more significant equipment such as paper shredders, an office that’s free of debris is a more constructive space. Built-in cabinets offer ample room to organize and keep clutter out of sight. According to Lana, installing a pullout shelf for your printer is invaluable, as it hides the cumbersome equipment while still allowing for optimal use. The ability to close cabinet doors helps create a clean, streamlined aesthetic that prevents unnecessary distraction, and drawer cubbies and inserts can also help improve your organization.
2. Have appropriate file storage and employ a magnetic board to reduce paperwork.
Paperwork is often the biggest culprit of office clutter. Whether you’re prone to displaying sticky notes or you have stacks of loose papers to sift through, it easily starts to add up. First and foremost, Lana recommends reducing paperwork by scanning files for electronic storage whenever possible. Then, she suggests assessing what type of file storage fits your needs. “What we do in a desk design is to maximize the space for the client based on how they’re going to be operating in their home office,” Lana tells us. “We take inventory and figure out how many file drawers they will need and whether it needs to be a letter- or legal-sized drawer. It needs to be functional, and it’s different for everybody.”
Another way to do away with some of your paperwork is by utilizing a magnetic board. “Magnetic dry erase marker boards make great vision boards and to-do lists,” Lana says. “We have a great product that’s called back-painted glass, and it can be magnetic, too. It’s a nice piece because you can dry erase on it, it’s durable, and it comes in different colors, so it brightens up the space.”
3. Establish better cord management, and install a desktop power supply.
Whether you’re concerned about safety hazards or you’re simply sick of looking at wires, finding a solution for cord management is a big deal. Fortunately, there are several options for built-in systems that not only hide your cords but keep them from becoming a tangled mess. “One of the things that we’ve learned to do in the last year is to put an 8-inch-deep door at the back of the desk, so you’ve got a little hidden door underneath that looks like a back panel,” says Lana. “All of the cords go behind it, so when you’re looking from the outside in, it looks nice and neat, and you can’t see all of that.” Another option is to have grommets installed on the top of a desk so the cords can run down to the plug beneath it.
California Closets also has several different options for desktop power supplies, including installing one on top of the desk. “We’ve got a flat one, and we’ve got one that pops up so that when it’s not in use, you can push it back down,” explains Lana. “It’s good because it gets it up off the floor, and when you put it on top of your desk, it keeps you from having to push back behind your desk to the outlets.” Win-win!
4. Get a sit/stand desk.
Sit/stand desks are becoming more and more popular in home offices, and with good reason. Getting up and moving around throughout your workday is essential for maintaining productivity and energy levels. You can lower or raise a sit/stand desk to alternate between the two. It functions with you, giving your body a chance to stretch and re-energize while you continue to get work done.
5. Invest in proper lighting.
With such a massive surge in virtual communication, the idea of having a home office with proper lighting has taken on new meaning. Working in the dark certainly isn’t beneficial, and neither is forcing our coworkers and clients to strain to see us on Zoom calls. Cool, bright lighting is a must if you’re going for a professional, productive ambiance. “All of the lighting we offer is LED,” Lana explains. “It’s recessed into the wood that we design, so a lot of our office designs have upper cabinetry to them as well — especially over the desktop area.”
Good luck with making your home office space even more productive! For more inspiration and information on home office designs, visit californiaclosets.com. All photos are courtesy of California Closets.
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