Personal space: Enhancing your home office while sheltering in place


By Jeanine Matlow
Legal News

As much of the world comes to a virtual standstill, many legal matters must proceed within the confines of home.

For lawyers and support staff, this becomes the perfect time to assess your personal workspace. Here are some pointers to make the most of your surroundings during these trying times.

While this area may be designated for labor, you can still make your home office more aesthetically pleasing with your selection of décor.

Creative updates take your occupational space from utilitarian to unique, like a ceramic vase turned catchall for pens and letter openers or a napkin holder to corral your active files.

You might even refresh the matching furniture sets that stretch from one side of the room to the other.

Though your workload may get heavy at times, you can lighten the mood with simple revisions, like a Lucite chair or an étagère instead of a standard bookcase. 

Sophisticated seating makes a statement in a workspace. For instance, a daybed lets you recline and doubles as a deluxe sofa. Portable items, like upholstered dining chairs can also work their way around the room as needed.

Since sitting is said to be the new smoking, make an effort to get up and stretch throughout the day. A standing desk or an exercise ball chair can be attractive add-ons with health benefits. For some companionship and emotional support, you might incorporate a cushy spot for your pet to settle down beside you.

Color can elevate your workspace and boost your mood. Introduce your favorite hue with casual accents like a garden stool for a side table or an ottoman to prop your feet.

Even file cabinets and table lamps are available in an array of shades that can brighten your day. For a more subdued look, paint one or more pieces of matching furniture in a soothing neutral, such as taupe or gray.

If your workspace lacks personality, add a fun focal point with items you may already have around the house like an accent rug or a gallery wall that features your favorite vacation photos.

Pieces with character create a cozy environment, like an old farm table that can be repurposed as a desk.

As technology develops, gadgets often become smaller and more efficient, like wireless printers and tablets that double as laptops.

In turn, your home office furniture can follow suit, such as a narrow table or a mini-cubicle configuration. Try a charging station or a desk with a USB port to manage your personal devices.

Family photos can provide some encouragement when you’re having a rough day. Fill a corkboard with personal mementoes or a chalkboard with inspirational quotes for a quick pick-me-up. Stash your knickknacks and surplus office supplies on a bookcase or display shelves to keep your desk neat and tidy so you can focus on the task at hand.

Be good to your eyes and the environment. Combine overhead light fixtures with desk lamps whenever possible.

Take steps to protect the planet with power strips to conserve energy by turning off your electronics at the end of each day. You also can keep a recycle bin and a paper shredder nearby for proper disposal of documents.

With fewer interruptions from colleagues, you can get carried away with work in a home environment. Remember to take an occasional break for some sustenance.

Fill a glass jar with healthy treats as a small reward for an especially productive day and incorporate a coffee station to keep the momentum going.

Finishing touches can include functional finds that add purpose and a little pizazz to your personal space, from decorative clocks to color-coded storage boxes.

Houseplants are good for your health and soothing sounds are good for your psyche.

Whether you find peace of mind from a tabletop fountain or your favorite playlist, you can enhance your home office by appealing to all of the senses.


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