Remote work has become popular in recent years, but the “working-from-home” economy bloomed exponentially as the world was forced to confront the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Stanford economist Nicholas Bloom, as of summer 2020, 42 percent of the United States labor force was working from home full-time. The need for a home office space has seen an obvious increase as more people work and study remotely. As we’ve retrofitted various spaces around our homes into areas to get work done, we’re realizing that a dedicated, organized home workspace can increase productivity and boost mood. Follow these guidelines to create an effective, organized home office.
The desk is the primary spot where work takes place. The right desk accessories should be practical but also provide visual appeal. Use mugs or mason jars to hold pens and pencils, baskets, and bins for larger items, and store whatever you can elsewhere so it does not lead to clutter on the desk. Store wireless printers in a cabinet or even on a bookshelf so it doesn’t take up real estate on the desk.
While you’re moving that wireless printer elsewhere, designate a space to serve as the central printing hub. This way when the kids need to print assignments for school, they will know where to go as well. Printer supplies like extra ink cartridges and paper can be kept in decorative storage boxes nearby.
Shelving can help keep items organized and off the desk in your home office without closets or drawers. Look for shelves that blend in with decor but are sturdy and deep enough to be functional. A desk with a hutch is also an instant way to add more shelves and space.
Figure out a system that works for you to help tidy up papers you choose to save. Some papers like receipts and statements can be scanned and stored as digital files. Consider using color-coded file folders to organize other important documents when you need to store the original paperwork as this makes it easy to find the folder you need it.
Repurpose certain items, such as a desk organizer, into an easily accessible electronics charging station where phones and tablets can charge at one time.
HGTV suggests making binders that can store the most important papers for easy access – even in an emergency. Set up a binder for automotive paperwork, including repair receipts, a medical binder where key medical records are kept, a binder for manuals for devices in the home, and one to store financial planning documents.
All work and no play make Jack and Jill dull people. Add family photos, memorabilia, plants, and other items to shelves and bookcases in your home office. Surrounding yourself with things that make you smile will help you sail through the workday.