If you’ve ever used a Post-it note to sweep away crumbs from your laptop keyboard then you’re well aware of life hacks. For those uninitiated, life hacks are simple tips or tricks that make your everyday life easier and better. With that in mind, we’ve found five office hacks, for your desk and workplace, inspired by home offices across California. They’re easy, they work, and they don’t cost much. Take a look.
1. Brighten and Lighten Your Office Space
Look around. What do you like in your home (office) that you wish you had at work? That colorful print you picked up on your trip to New Orleans Jazz Fest, maybe? The light pouring in from all the windows make working even in a small space, much more pleasant. Consider any of these colorful additions to your workplace.
Add some fun artwork to the walls, change out the window coverings to bring in some natural light, and start an edible indoor garden with fresh herbs your staff could even water and use to add to tea or their lunch salads. For your desk: use mirrors to make your personal space feel bigger and bring in more light. Or, you can even reupholster boring chairs with fun fabrics. Check out more ideas on how to turn your ordinary workstation into a cool workstation.
2. Create Home-like Comfort Zones
Of course, what makes working from home so great is that anywhere you perch becomes your comfy office space: feet up on the coffee table, lounging with your dog on your outdoor deck on a sunny day, or leaning on the kitchen table as you make a fresh cup of coffee. If the mood strikes you, you can blast tunes and rock out as you work, or work in complete quiet. Think these options are only possible at home? Think again as you plan out your office space.
Create a lounge area comfort zone with a cozy couch, floor pillows or bean bags. If the area is closed off, add a stereo or make it a quiet space. See if your office can open up to an outdoor area, say a back patio or roof deck, with tables for eating lunch or for a casual meeting or workspace. For your desk: Build a small coffee table out of used books, or even a wall divider (make sure they are books you don’t need to read!). For more comfort, consider the right ergonomic office furniture that suits your needs.
3. Make Room for Inspiration—and Increased Productivity
People who work from home find themselves more creative when they work from home. At home, you can access your favorite art book or fun family photos for ideas and an eye break. You never know where genius will strike, but creating relaxed, fun and creative environments surely sets the stage for great ideas.
If your business culture is creative by nature, this is a must-have in your office. Clear a wall and turn it into a whiteboard with markers to get the ideas flowing. For your desk: Make sure that your workstation is filled with fun things to look at—from art to photos.
4. Get High Tech with Videoconferencing
Even people working from home get a little stir crazy, and with far-flung contractors, providing video conferencing and other high-tech tools is a great way to connect with employees working outside the office.
Provide mobile employees an “office in a box,” which can include an all-in-one printer, phone with a high-quality speaker, laptop with video and sound, a big monitor, even good-quality headphones. That way, mobile employees are set up for in-house touchdown spaces, and can stay in touch with co-workers wherever they’re working. Videoconferencing is also a great way to hold off-site client meetings. Office hack for your desk: Use binder clips to hang headphones or keys, and even to keep cords organized. And, use a kitchen basket to store your extra cords.
5. Provide Flexible Seating. Or Standing.
At home, you can sit at your desk, stand by a window, lounge in the living room, lie on the floor, whatever makes you most at ease. Maybe you prefer the family room Lazy Boy, or a kitchen table that’s high enough for you to stand and work. Research shows sitting all day is a serious health risk. Luckily, there are some great options for the corporate setting that aren’t sitting.
There are plenty of office chairs out there that are both comfy and ergonomic. Another option is to provide standing desks for those who want the choice to change position from a chair to no chair at all. For your desk: Build your own standing desk with a small bookshelf.