Thursday Feb 02, 2023

Time for a ‘real’ home office? Here’s what to consider – La Jolla Light


For years, Aaron Hoskins had the option to work from home. But Hoskins, who leads the digital operations team at Sharp HealthCare’s Digital Experience department in San Diego, preferred to stay in the office, both to avoid household distractions and because, he said, he really didn’t have a good space to work.

Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit and Hoskins and his colleagues had to work from home. Sharp sent him out with a laptop and an office chair, and he bought a large monitor and a small desk, which he used to set up a makeshift office in a closet. His wife, who has worked from home for more than 20 years, has an office set up in the kitchen.

Hoskins soon found that his minimalist closet office didn’t work for him.

“I was definitely sensitive about how shabby it looked,” Hoskins acknowledged. “I had minimal storage, which forced me to not have many papers around, which is fine, but my desk also didn’t have anywhere to hide the cables, and I didn’t like that. Going to my office every day was not something I looked forward to.”

An uncluttered home office solution from California Closets combines both closed and open spaces.

(California Closets)

Hoskins reached out to California Closets and worked with design consultant Cynthia Binski to reinvent the closet space into a cozy but fully functional office. It not only had space for Hoskins’ papers and, now, two computer monitors but also a faux cabinet underneath the desktop for all the cords and bulky cables he used, storage for his supplies and shelving above and, importantly, behind him.

It made all the difference visually for his Zoom and Microsoft Teams meetings. Now he could ax the fake cyber background he’d been using and create a natural setting that was both professional and filled with conversation icebreakers.

Is remote work the future for office workers? Maybe not for everyone, but now that people have had a taste of it, many want to work from home permanently. Upwork estimates that 22 percent of America’s workforce of 36.2 million people will work remotely by 2025. Owl Labs conducted a survey that showed that 81 percent of those questioned believe their employer will continue to support remote work after COVID-19, and 59 percent said they’d be more likely to choose an employer who offered remote work.

So for many workers, that ad-hoc workspace on the dining room table may no longer be sufficient. That means it’s time to create a space that meets their long-term professional needs. The question is, how to get started?

Generous legroom is vital to prevent feeling boxed in at a desk in the home office.

(California Closets)

Interior designer Jennifer Verruto, founder and chief executive of Blythe Interiors in Kearny Mesa, said one of the first considerations is who’s going to be home when you’re working. That will help determine the space you select.

“Are you just going to have your pet around or are your kids going to be home, too?” Verruto said. “Does your partner need a space? What kind of noise are these other people going to be making? If your partner is in sales and has to be on the phone all day every day, maybe they get the guest room as their office and you can set up somewhere else.

“It’s …….


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