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Cornered!

Bob Goldman on

The corner office. It was the pinnacle of career success. Doors were dandy. Carpets were cool. Windows were wonderful. But that corner -- that beautiful corner -- that was the ultimate reward.

But that was then. This is now. Now there are no corner offices for you to strive for. Now you're lucky to get a corner of the kitchen table as your office, and, if you're really lucky, someone will have cleaned off your morning bowl of mush before you sit down to work.

Of course, many of us would be thrilled to get even a corner of the kitchen table. We're working from on our sofas or in our beds. We're doing something really weird: We're actually using our laptops on our laps.

While it seems unlikely that a corner office will open up in the near future, you are not condemned to spend your working days at a substandard home office. Ask Tim McKeough, the author of "That 'Home Office' of Yours? It Needs an Upgrade," a recent article in The New York Times.

If you can get over the natural instinct of any mature human being to tell McKeough to mind his own beeswax, it's clear that he does feel the pain of the homebound office worker.

"Continuing to work from your bed or the dining table is unlikely to be very productive, or feel very professional, in the long term. But what should you do if you don't have an extra room for a proper home office, or even an obvious space for desk?" he writes

 

To answer this question, the author spoke to a variety of architects and interior designers. Most of these masters of inner space turned their attention to an element of your home you probably spend little time considering -- your closet.

Oh, your poor closet. It suffers in silence as you stuff it with clothes you no longer wear and sports equipment you never use. All the clutter you've Marie Kondo'd out of your life now lives in suspended animation in your closets. But the ultimate humiliation for any self-respecting closet is about to come.

"When you really need a home office," the author writes, "emptying out a small closet to convert it into a work space might be worth the trade-off."

You won't be surprised to learn that converting a small closet can cost big bucks. You'll need a built-in desk and built-out shelving. Still, even after a pricey designer has reimagined your closet with sleek Italian cabinetry and an even pricier electrician has wired up outlets for the 12 chargers you somehow have ended up requiring, it still may not be the ultimate career goal you had in mind.

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