Working at your first office job can be a strange shift, especially if your only previous employers come from the service or retail industry. Over the past year, I’ve picked up a couple of small ways that you can make the most of your space (and experience) while working in an office.
I want to start by saying that these tips are brought to you by an older office building; you know, the kind of office that has a questionable patterned carpet that seems to absorb everything you spill on it. It’s also worth noting that I manage to do all of these even without having a permanent desk space (I don’t sit in the same spot every day). So for those of you who don’t have a large office space where you can store all of your goodies, fear not! I still have some tips that you can work with no matter where you sit.
#1: Makeshift Laptop Stand
This is for those of you who like to extend the display between your laptop and monitor so you’re able to take advantage of a larger screen space (if you’ve never done this, do it). If you have an obnoxious amount of paper stacks near your office printer, you may want to consider borrowing a few to stand your laptop on. It’s really nice having my laptop and monitor at the same height and a lot of people in my office do it.
#2: An (almost) Ergo Assessment
Some of the more long-term employees are lucky enough to have professional ergonomic assessments for their desk spaces. Although most students don’t have the opportunity to be professionally assessed, there a many googleble online resources that you can use to give yourself a self-assessment. Obviously it won’t be as accurate as a professional assessment, but it’s good for things like knowing how to specifically adjust your chair position or your posture (nobody likes being hunched over all day).
#3: Emergency Shoes
I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer not to be wearing my business casual footwear while sprinting through the winter slush to catch my bus. I started leaving a pair of black flats or heels at work so I can wear my oversized red Bogs to work with no shame.
#4: The Extra Phone Charger
This one may seem obvious, but I can’t begin to tell you the amount of times that my phone has died at work or on the bus home (maybe I should consider getting a phone with better battery life?). I would suggest buying a charger to keep at work. This way, you never have to worry about your phone dying, and as an added bonus, you can become the hero that your office needs: the bearer of the phone charger.
#5: Tea Drawer
I keep a box of tea, a mug, and a small bottle of honey at work to avoid dropping daily dollars on social tea. Don’t get me wrong, it’s really nice to go for tea or coffee with my coworkers in the morning, but when I found myself paying $2 for hot water almost everyday, I knew something had to change. I generally just make my own tea and carry my mug with me during the coffee stroll with my coworkers. It may sound weird, but it saves me a lot of money and it’s the first step in my fight against social eating (and drinking).
#6: The Power of Cookies
If you’re having trouble socializing in your new job, just bake cookies and bring them in for your office to enjoy. In my experience, people tend to love having baked goods to spice up their day and it’s a good way to show that you’re friendly.
I hope some of these office hacks are helpful for some of you!