While most employees wouldn’t mind having a roomy private office, reality is that cubicles and tight quarters are more the norm. Likewise, being home-based provides no guarantee of a nice workspace. In fact, many “home offices” are just a desk in the corner of a room.
In addition, most of us have little control over the size of our work area. Nevertheless, it is still possible to be productive within a limited space. As covered in a previous post, some useful methods include eliminating clutter, getting organized, and using better equipment.
To continue, here are four more tactics for maximizing a small workspace.
In general, desk workers are pretty good at using drawers, shelves, and cabinets for storage. However, when limited to a small space, these compartments are often insufficient. As a result, files and other items begin to pile up.
One way to address this is by storing smartly. Namely, this means implementing non-standard storage solutions. For example, adding in an under-the-desk filing cabinet or floating shelves can really help keep your workstation clear.
Other ideas include wall organizers, multifunctional furniture, and vertical shelves.
Reduce Paper Use
Along with smart storage, reducing your reliance on paper is another great way to make the most of a small office. After all, paper stuff is cumbersome, and the less you print out, the less storage space you’ll need for it.
Especially in this day and age, there are many instances where you can easily go without that physical printout. Smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices enable you to have all your documents with you wherever you go. Likewise, rather than filling up a drawer, things like receipts can be scanned and kept virtually.
In a nutshell, think twice before you hit print. Not only will it save you a pretty penny in paper and ink, but your little office and the environment will thank you.
Tame Those Cables
If your office is like most, chances are you have a lot of cables hanging off the back of your desk (or running across the room). Other than being potential trip hazards, these messy bundles can really take up space.
Fortunately, there are many simple ways to remedy this situation. Bread tabs, binder clips, and file folder labels make quick DIY cord wranglers, while rain gutters, PVC pipe, and even paper towel tubes can function as cable managers.
In any case, no one really enjoys having to squeeze under and play the “What’d I just unplug?” game, so just get those cables under control however best works for you.
Utilize Light and Color
Lastly, a limited space will only seem more cramped by being dark and dreary. To fix, utilize more natural lighting or swap out that bulky floor lamp for an overhead desk lamp.
In addition, don’t be afraid to bring in some color. While noisy patterns should be avoided, a bright colored wall (or poster) can help spark creative energy. Likewise, going with muted or light neutral shades can help a small workspace look larger and feel more open, airy, and pleasant to be in.