(This article is for informational purposes only. Indiana Connection and Do it Best Corp. assume no liability for the accuracy or completeness of the information contained herein, or for injuries, property damage, or the outcome of any project.)
By Claude and Len Schrock
One thing that caught many folks off guard last year was the sudden need to work remotely. Even as vaccinations roll out, many companies are providing their staff part- or full-time remote work flexibility. If this applies to you, consider taking a fresh look at improving the organization, efficiency, and comfort of your home office space.
Good Connections — A 6-in-1 USB cable kit is a perfect solution for keeping all your USB-connected devices at the ready, no matter their connector size. It’s a good time to pick up some extra ethernet cables or flash drives, too. If your cord situation becomes messy, try some Command strips made exclusively for bundling and organizing cords.
Next, keep all your electronics and chargers safe from power mishaps with a good surge protector. Today’s options vary in shapes, sizes, and numbers of outlets, and most even include additional USB ports for charging. Finally, keep your gear free of dirt, dust, and lint with a can of compressed air duster.
Simple Supplies —Working at home often means you don’t have immediate access to essential office supplies from your workplace. Take a count of all those little necessities that make your work productive, like pens, Post-it Note pads, staplers, paper or binder clips, and Scotch tape. Keep notes and other reminders neatly arranged on a cork or fabric bulletin board with push pins, or try mini and magnetic dry-erase boards with markers.
Functional Organization — “It’s just temporary” may have excused some disarray in your home work space before, but it doesn’t hurt to add simple touches of efficiency. Try woven baskets, trays, or cubbies that streamline the clutter and keep everything in its place.
If built-in shelving is more your style, the options available in shelves and shelf brackets are almost endless. Keep open shelving clutter free by storing small doodads together in mini bins with lids. Label your bins to make finding everything in them even easier.
Comfort is key — If you’re uncertain how long you’ll work remotely, you might not want to invest in high-end desks or office chairs. But that random, rickety old dining room chair probably won’t cut it. Lightweight but sturdy padded folding chairs and tables could be just the right fit. Plus, they’re sure to come in handy for countless other uses in the future.
If your lighting is subpar, try one or two small dedicated desk lamps with good LED bulbs. For a more permanent setup, consider adding a new lighting fixture in your workspace. Either way, you’ll feel more productive with adequate illumination!
Finally, if your work area isn’t situated near HVAC vents, stave off a chill in winter by investing in a small space heater. Whether ceramic or electric, space heaters come in many sizes and styles. The same is true if you need a cool breeze in the summer. Fans come in table, pedestal, desk, and clip-on styles. There’s even one powered by USB.
Visit your local Do it Best store or doitbest.com for thousands of the best home improvement products, including supplies and organizational tools for setting up a home office.
CLAUDE and LEN SCHROCK are the owners of Grabill Hardware in Grabill. They are member-owners of Do it Best Corp., a Fort Wayne-based cooperative of thousands of hardware stores, home centers and lumberyards throughout the US and around the world.