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An example of Cloffice. Image by Haffele.

Cloffice: The latest work-from-home trend to transform your workspace

Home office has been a hot topic since March of 2020. Before, working from home was not always necessary and many got on just fine without a dedicated workspace. However, the rise of remote work in the past year has increased the demand for such a space. If you are one of the many longing for a personal workspace in your home, but think you do not have the room to accommodate such a space, let me introduce you to the cloffice. 

What is a cloffice?

A cloffice is essentially a closet transformed into an office space. This creative innovation is the perfect solution for those looking to have a dedicated workspace in their home but are tight on space. 

Many choose to transform guest bedroom closets or hall closets but you can even use a freestanding wardrobe such as in the photo below. 

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Transform a freestanding wardrobe into your personal home office workspace. (Photo courtesy Häfele)

The cloffice is perfect for those who want a space separate from main living areas. The cloffice also allows you to hide your work from your daily life once you’re off the clock. Just close your closet doors to disconnect from work-life and get back into the groove of home-life. 

That disconnect is especially necessary nowadays as COVID-19 has forced us to blur the lines between our work-life-balance. According to an article by Forbes, having a dedicated workspace increases productivity and reduces temptations to indulge in other at-home distractions while working from home

Tips to build the cloffice of your dreams 

If you are struggling without a dedicated workspace at home, then hop on the trend! Below are some tips to help you transform your spare closet into the perfect, personal workspace to help you achieve more while working from home. 

cloffice, working from home,

Unleash your creativity and build your own personal cloffice. (Photo courtesy Häfele)

Furnishings

Most important, of course, is your desk and chair as these will be where you spend your working hours. A sturdy desk and an ergonomic chair will serve you best and keep you comfortable while you work, help you maintain good posture, and keep stubborn back-pain away. Another option is a standing desk which also has many benefits. Either way, choose furnishings that will best serve you. Make this space your own. 

Storage

In such a small space, storage is everything and every inch of space matters. Try not to clutter your workspace with large storage cabinets or containers. Keep it simple. Utilize shelves, built in closet storage, or small cubbies. If your goal is to be able to close your closet doors at the end of the workday, also be sure to keep all furnishings and storage compact. 

Electronics 

Electronics are another important area to consider. Your closet may not have outlets or plugs, but there are solutions. You can use extension cords and cable concealers to keep cables and wires tidy. Another solution for charging smaller electronics is to utilize USB charging ports. Once you have power running in your cloffice, add in your computer and other necessary electronics such as printers or scanners. 

Lighting 

Finally, consider your lighting source. Lighting is essential to productivity. Light can define your mood and impact your performance. Most closets do not have built-in light sources, so you will want to consider different solutions. You could add a desk-lamp, LED lights, or wall lights to your cloffice. Whichever option you choose, make sure it offers plenty of light so you can perform at your best. 

You might be interested: Is working remotely a pain? Tips to be more comfortable and productive

Once you have the essentials down, it’s time to decorate! Unleash your creativity and personalize your workspace. Add a touch of color or keep things minimal and go monochrome. The choice is yours. Remember, this space will be where you spend a bulk of your time during the workday, so make it a place that is inviting and positive. 

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Work from home pitfalls and how to stay relevant even wearing your pajamas

If you work from home, you may have many advantages but also some drawbacks. Even if you are the best at your job, lack of opportunity to interact with managers and colleagues might take away your ability to be considered for promotions or interesting assignments. How do you stay relevant when your boss doesn’t see you every day?

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Do you have a job that allows you to work from home?  Are you working at a remote location away from your company’s headquarters?  Or, is your immediate supervisor located in a different city?

It may be great to work from home, avoid the commute, blend job duties with household chores (put in a load of laundry before joining that conference call) or be away from the grind of a frenzied headquarter site.

Unfortunately, there are some significant downsides to being a remote worker that researchers say can impact morale which then hurts your performance and the kind of assignments your boss provides.  If these are not handled right, it can impact your advancement and overall career growth.

There are some key steps for you to take to make sure that your working remotely is a big success for your current role and your overall career success.

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  1.  Communicate more often than expected. Of course you are attending team calls each weak but do you speak up on each call?  Do you offer a real update or is it your tendency to simply say, “everything is going fine, nothing new here.”  That maybe a quick way to get through the call but you’ll want to be more specific. Beyond those expected calls, you will need to find a way to update your supervisor with a weekly summary email and establish a regular monthly (at least) 1 to 1 video call to check in and ask for feedback.   Emphasis on “video”–its your best option to an in person meeting.
  2. Leverage each conference call to showcase your best.  Your employer may use Skype for Business, ZoomBlueJeans, JoinMe, or WebEx.  Each of the links in that sentence is pointing to the help sites for these applications. If you are in doubt about how to share screens, turn on or off your camera or mute yourself–read the guides and understand those features! Quick!  And, set up your office background so that when you are on camera your environment looks and is all about business. A pile of laundry in the background, cluttered piles of paper, or a TV playing in the background is a distraction from you, your skills set and your message.  Don’t detract from your performance by making any of the 11 mistakes for handling video conference calls!

You might be interested: 7 Steps to master family and career balance

3. Make sure your executive presence comes through on calls. Research has found that executive presence is about 3 key ingredients: Gravitas, Communication, and Appearance. This must be part of your personal brand is a 24/7 endeavor. It is easy to get caught up in your work routine and accept a call when you probably should not.  Many of us are forced to take calls when you are rushing to the airport or picking up kids from school or in the middle of the night for a global team call. Don’t do any of these if you truly cannot manage the impression you will create for your boss. Your dedication to the job can quickly get sidelined if that call makes it seem you lack focus, judgement, or commitment.

 

This article was first posted on #3LVCareerHacks to build your creative muscle and engage in your workplace drive for innovation.

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