Equipping Your Office for Success
By Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, RDBA Contributing Editor
There’s no better time than the New Year to refresh your office with the tools you need to be more productive and successful. Whether your home office needs some changes, or you are looking ahead to your corporate office return, use this checklist to get help you create a streamlined and efficient work space:
- Your Desk - Ideally, you'll have space for a desk that provide an ergonomically correct workstation. Select a standard 29- to 30-inch-high desk or table large enough for a laptop or two and a spread of papers.
- The Chair - Pair the desk with an ergonomic chair with adjustable arms, seat height and tilt, and lumbar support. With casters, it will move easily over wood or carpet.
- Lighting - Illuminate your work area with layers of light: an overhead fixture with a halogen bulb to reduce shadows, a task lamp to prevent eye strain, and a softer lamp light.
- Your Computer/Monitor - Consider a laptop if your work often involves traveling to various locations. You'll definitely need a monitor if you have a desktop computer, but it can also be useful to plug one into your laptop.
- A Multipurpose Machine – Even though many of us are trying to go paperless, there will probably be occasions when you'll need to print, scan, fax, or make copies. Consider looking into a multipurpose machine that can manage all these tasks.
- Backup Drive or Personal Server – If working from a home office at all, you'll need a plan for backing up and protecting your data. You can use cloud-based backup services to copy your files automatically, but external drives and personal servers are very affordable and can save your information in case of computer failure.
- Storage – A small well-organized file cabinet is needed to store any hard copy documents you need to hang on to. Also, consider a spot to store pens, sticky notes, paper, folders, ink, business cards, and other supplies you need on hand. You may also want a bookcase to shelve cookbooks and professional resources you reference often. Finally, find a home for your gadgets such as smartphones and tablets so they don’t distract you.
- A Paper Shredder – A shredder is a must-have for destroying sensitive and confidential business information and documents.
- Add Greenery – Plants can create an environment conducive to increased productivity by helping produce cleaner air while motivating you to be more creative and energetic.
- Office Set Up – When setting up your office make sure you consider a professional looking backdrop for virtual calls along with space that allows opportunities for movement. Some people like a stand-to-sit desk for changing positions throughout the day.
- Personalized and Tidy – Choose a few personal items that increase your emotional connection to work and inspire you to be more productive such as framed photos of your family. Finally, take a few minutes at the end of each work day to tidy up your workspace and organize your to-do list for the next day.