As the world gets more connected I’ve found I spend many of my “out of office” hours working. Lots of my friends have gone the freelancer route. There’s only so many coffee shops you can frequent before you need to set up a proper home office. While tossing a desk into the corner and adding a funky pinboard seems like the obvious solution you actually need to put a bit more thought into a home office. I asked Jane Blanchard from Modernize to share 6 Home Office Organisation Tips with me (and you) to improve our little spaces:
Most private homes were not originally built as offices and lack many of the standard features of custom-built office spaces such as false ceilings and under-floor cable runs. Home lighting is often designed to be flattering rather than ergonomic, and flooring attractive rather than durable. Creating a home office that functions as a work space means bringing the functionality of a professional office into your home, here are 6 home office organization tips to help you do just that:
1. Electrical Outlets
Even a fairly basic home office is filled with technology. Place your desk close to an electrical outlet to avoid the need for extension cords. Hire a professional electrician if necessary to verify that you are not overloading electrical circuits and to install additional outlets as needed. If you do need to use extension cords, ensure that they are of appropriate length and gauge for the devices to which you are attaching them.
2. Power Bars and Surge Protectors
Rather than plugging electronic devices directly into electrical outlets, use power bars with built-in surge protectors. This simultaneously makes it easier to organize power cables and lets you turn off all electronic devices or specific groups of devices when not in use. If you live in an area with erratic electrical power, use a multi-outlet surge protector that includes protection for your modem, telephone, and ethernet cables as well as electrical ones. An uninterrupted power supply is more expensive than regular surge protectors, but will give you time to save critical work in case of an outage.
3. Label and Tie All Cords
Nothing is more frustrating than crawling around under your desk trying to untangle a mass of power cords and cables when you need to move or replace electronic devices. Invest in brightly colored cable labels that you attach to both ends of each cable. Add cable ties or other forms of cable organizer so that cords run in one neat bundle rather than in a disorganized heap.
4. Use a Valet
For small electronic devices such as cell phones and tablets, invest in a valet, a small wooden box that holds your devices in place and allows you to plug in all your chargers neatly.
5. Wireless Devices
Reduce cord clutter by investing in wireless devices. A wireless keyboard and mouse combo eliminates two cables from your desk. Install a wireless router on your mobile so you can have a wireless internet connection anywhere in your own office without having to run cables from where your internet enters your home to all your electronic devices.
6. Organizing Storage Areas
After clearly labeling each cord, either coil it with a cable tie or place it in a clear plastic sandwich bag before placing it in a storage container. Group spare printer cartridges and printer paper together near your printer. Label and store memory drives and other storage media in appropriately sized cases.
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