The higher you rise in the company ranks, the larger and nicer your office will be. And if you’re just getting your foot in the door and establishing yourself in your chosen industry, you are probably sharing elbow room with a number of other coworkers, renting an office the size of a closet or sitting in a cramped cubicle all day. If you barely have space to put your coffee, you’re not alone. Here’s how to make the most of a tiny office.
To get started, you need to take stock of your office in its current form. Be thorough in evaluating what can stay and what needs to go. If you inherited a desk with the office, maybe that desk is more trouble than it’s worth (too big, namely). Is the chair hard and comfortable, or difficult to scoot back away from the desk? If you have trouble moving around the office in any way, it will seem more cramped. Get a smaller desk and a simple swivel chair for starters.
File cabinets take up a ton of space. If having physical copies of paperwork is vital for your line of work, try to move the cabinets out of your workspace to give yourself more room.
But if the file cabinets are just fossils from a bygone era, by all means get rid of them and go paperless. Cloud-based storage systems make it easy and safe to store, reorganize and access documents at any time and from anywhere. You can store some smaller documents for free, but for unlimited storage you can get very affordable memberships. Remember, filing cabinets, file folders, paper, ink, printers, labels and all other paraphernalia associated with keeping hard copies all cost money too. It’s a very fair trade off.
You can even sign documents online these days, so you don’t even have to print them out to scribble your name and make it all official. You can pay bills online or over the phone. Make a conscious effort to do away with paper, and your office will feel much less cluttered.
Upgrade Your Technology
This seems obvious, but some companies do still have old computers with large, bulky monitors and separate hard drive systems. You need a large desk just to hold all that machinery.
Take a hearty step into the 21st century and upgrade to a flat-screen computer with a built-in hard drive. Your office (and not to mention your desk) will instantly seem bigger. You can even go a step further and mount the monitor on the wall, which completely frees up your desk space.
Speaking of upgrading your computer, you should also evaluate your phone system. Do you need an office phone sitting on your desk? Unless your work and personal phones are always ringing off the hook and you desperately need to keep them separated, you can typically easily manage business and pleasure from the same device—your smartphone. There are call routing services that make this easy and that make it appear, to the outside observer, that you have a more sophisticated, traditional office phone system. You can also take the landline off your phone bill, since you won’t be using it.
And unless you need to print pages and pages of professional-grade documents on a regular basis, you don’t need a large and expensive laser printer. Opt for a compact 3-in-1 printer that lets you print, scan and copy documents. These basic functions will come in handy often enough to make it worthwhile to carve out a space for your printer, even if it’s tucked away in a cupboard. Don’t worry about getting a printer that acts as a fax machine, since then you’ll have to pay for a landline again. Plus, Internet faxing services let you send faxes via email. It doesn’t get easier than that!
Technology Is Your Friend
If you have another small office problem, there may just be an app for that. Or if not an app, then some kind of gizmo that will make your life easier. Let us know what solutions you’ve tried in the comments.
image source: http://www.buzzfeed.com/
This article was written by Cathy Habas for Hutbay Blog. Cathy is a professional freelancer who loves writing informative and interesting articles on interior design and home renovation.