Preparing Your Office for Late Nights

Whether you’re catching up on work, waiting for a jury to come back, or avoiding a tumultuous home situation, you will likely end up spending a late night at your office now and again. Depending on your practice, it may happen more often than not. But you can make the experience a lot more bearable by making sure your office is properly prepared.

Food

A big distraction I run into on late nights is my stomach. Dinner time comes and goes, and I’m left thinking about food instead of work.

Snacks

I keep a steady supply of protein bars in my desk. Personally I prefer these because I feel less guilty having a protein bar for a snack than a bag of chips. Other options include granola bars and chips.

Menus

Of course sometimes a snack isn’t sufficient. Keeping your office stocked with takeout and delivery menus can help you make it through a particularly long evening. Pizza, hoagies, and Chinese food menus should keep your bases covered. I’ve always equated a late night at the office with Chinese takeout. This is probably due to the popularity of this option in movies from the 90s.

Gentle Lighting

Fluorescent light will suck your soul out and drain you of all energy. Get a desk lamp and a floor lamp. As the sun goes down the lamps will give you a gentle lighting to work the hours away.

Coffee

If you’re a coffee addict, you’re gonna need more than one fix for a long night at the office. Whether it’s a Keurig machine, a french press, or a 24 hour Dunkin’ Donuts, make sure you have access to some caffeine.

Phone Charger

My phone sometimes dies during a long day. On a late night it’s even more likely. Sure, I keep a car charger, but that doesn’t help me if my phone dies at 7 and I want to stay at the office a little later. My cell phone is also my office phone, so it has to stay charged. A wall charger at the office quickly solves this problem.

Entertainment

More often than not a late night at work is because you have to do work. But sometimes you’re waiting on something or someone. There could be a jury deliberating or a client meeting with you at a strange hour. When you finish browsing the internet, you’re going to need something to entertain you. I keep a deck of cards in my desk along with a season of Arrested Development.

(photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gemsling/2986754704/)

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  • http://lawyerist.com/author/samglover/ Sam Glover

    Ah, the days of all-nighters. My wife still has to pull them now and then, but we’ve both managed to get much better at managing our schedules so we don’t have to stay up all night trying to crank out a brief or prepare for a deposition. Life’s much better, as a result.