Four Tips for Creating the Perfect Home Office

How to create the perfect home office

As many as 30 million Americans work out of a home office at least one time per week – whether it’s a full day at home or an evening catching up on emails after dinner. Regardless of how often you use a home office, the productivity gained by having a comfortable, inspiring, and practical place to work in the confines of your own home makes it worth investing in. Here are four simple tips for making the most out of your home office.

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Spaces We Love: NeueHouse’s Glamorous Work Collective


Gone are the days of hospital white walls, beige generic carpet, and the institutional decorating style of yesteryear. Well, mostly. The trend today – whether you are a law firm, a tech start-up, or a manufacturing company – is to create an office environment that your team loves to be in. A place that is more home than work. A place that inspires, encourages, and fosters collaboration. These types of places sometimes cost more – but always make their costs back in productivity.

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From I.D.E.A. to Reality


One of the most talked about up-and-coming developments in Downtown San Diego is the yet-to-be-built I.D.E.A. District. An acronym for Innovation, Design, Education, Arts, the I.D.E.A. District is a “transformative urban initiative which aims to create 13,000+ design and tech jobs in the next 12 years in Downtown San Diego’s East Village,” according to the project’s website.

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Spaces We Love: Alison Brod PR’s Manhattan Office


Alison Brod PR’s office located at 440 Park Avenue South in Manhattan, may very well be every girl’s dream office. Laden with color, feminine touches, iconic brands, and even edible accessories, this show stopping space has me ready to move in!

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Spaces We Love: Bumble and Bumble’s NYC Headquarters


Bumble and Bumble’s new headquarters in NYC’s meatpacking district proves that office space can perfectly express the culture, style, and values behind a company’s brand. Their balance of cozy-industrial design paired with extra attention to detail demonstrates that Bumble and Bumble is not afraid to go the extra mile to achieve a classy, timeless, yet trendy feel.

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A Sneak Peek at the Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute at UCSD


Earlier this month, Hughes Marino had the awesome opportunity to view the progress being made at the Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI) courtesy of Rudolph and Sletten, the project’s general contractor. When all is said and done, this state-of-the-art facility is going to encompass more than 360,000 square feet. But the project’s size is not the only impressive part – this facility will be truly spectacular.

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Organizations We Love: Spotlight on Lawyers Club of San Diego

Star Hughes speaking at Lawyers Club Dinner 2014

Last month Hughes Marino had the incredible honor of serving as the Title Sponsor for Lawyers Club of San Diego’s Annual Dinner. As a member of Lawyers Club’s Professional Advancement Committee, I couldn’t have been more proud to have my company affiliated with such a worthwhile organization, nor could I have been more humbled to be sharing a room with one of the most prominent and inspiring women of the past millennium.

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Five Things You Can’t Afford To Overlook Before Signing Your Lease


When it comes time to move into a new office space, you’ve undoubtedly put considerable thought and countless hours into finding the perfect space. Before rushing into a lease agreement, be sure to consider the fine print. Here’s a look at five items that warrant your attention before you sign that dotted line.

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Countdown to San Diego Startup Week Has Begun!

San Diego Startup Week

Next Tuesday, June 17 marks the start of San Diego Startup Week. This four-day event, which has been called the “premier catalyst for innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurialism,” will feature countless panels, incredible networking events, and plenty of cause for celebration.

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2nd Annual Equal Pay Day Leadership Luncheon: Focus on Origins and Solutions to Pay Inequality for Women

This article originally appeared in the Lawyers Club of San Diego‘s newsletter.

2014 Equal Pay Day Luncheon

The second annual Equal Pay Day Leadership Luncheon, held on April 8, 2014, served to illuminate ongoing challenges women still face when it comes to earning equal pay for equal work performed by men. Though it remains unjust that women earn on average 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, with women of color earning even less, the panel of nationally recognized speakers did a terrific job of illuminating potential reasons for the continuing disparity. Moreover, all speakers proposed practical, applicable solutions for combating the inequality.

Sponsored by Lawyers Club of San Diego, and supported by more than two dozen forward-thinking local organizations and business, April 8, 2014 marked Equal Pay Day, and the luncheon was timed in conjunction with President Obama’s signing of two significant orders. The first was an Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from retaliating against employees for discussing their compensation – thereby encouraging transparency. The second order signed was a Presidential Memorandum which requires federal contractors to collect summary data on compensation paid to their employees, including data by sex and race, which would allow the Department of Labor to use the data to encourage compliance with equal pay laws and assist enforcement efforts.

Those in attendance were fortunate to hear compelling talks from some of the most respected experts in the fields of inequality in labor, legal and auditing services, and workplace negotiation.

Kelly Jenkins-Pultz, Acting Regional Administrator, United States Department of Labor (DOL) Women’s Bureau Region 9, opened the discussion by offering insight into the roots of inequality in pay for women. To fully understand why, after more than 50 years after the passing of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, women are still short-changed, we must look at the causes. Kelly reported that equal pay issues begin arising even before most women enter the work place. They begin in our education. Because women tend to gravitate towards liberal arts degrees, whereas male counterparts dominate industries such as computer science and engineering, women are effectively, though unintentionally, positioning themselves for careers in lower paying industries and occupations.

Moreover Kelly provided a birds-eye view of what happens as both men and women grow in professional experience and then proceed to grow families. By age 35, she reported the disparity between men’s and women’s earnings becomes even greater. Men who start families are rewarded for being “family men,” while women who choose to have families are deemed less focused on their careers, and their paychecks reflect that.

Kelly’s message however, was one of hope, and encouragement. Her suggested means of leveling the playing field for all included increasing the minimum wage, a commitment to ongoing Equal Pay Act legislation, and an evolving culture, which changes its view on women who balance families and careers in the work place.

Next, Dan Kuang, Ph.D., Vice President of Legal and Audit Support Services, Biddle Consulting Group, Inc., brought forth a powerful claim as to why such large pay gaps exist amongst women and men of equal talent, education and experience. For Dr. Kuang, it all begins with starting salaries. Women often accept lower starting salaries than men. Rather than negotiating for a higher salary (as men tend to do), women in general accept their first offer, as women who negotiate are often perceived as demanding. By contrast, employers typically value a man’s negotiation efforts in a favorable light.

Ann Marie Houghtailing, renowned negotiations expert, served as the closing speaker. She opened her presentation by saying, “In 20 minutes or less, I’m going to teach you how to earn your worth tomorrow.” Ann Marie proceeded to do just that. She focused on two primary areas where women can work to ensure equal pay.

The first requirement for women seeking equal pay is to negotiate rigorously. She recommended negotiating all aspects of equity. Far from just countering on salary offers, Ann Marie suggested negotiating a mentor relationship, work-life balance, and more. She also encouraged all women to ask directly for what they want in salary and benefits, rather than hanging their hope on the idea that if they just work harder, their efforts will be recognized and rewarded. Ann Marie also explained the need for building a book of business, beginning from the first day on a job. It will only make women more valuable, and thus reduce the likelihood of unequal pay in future positions.

Unfortunately since the luncheon, the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would have made it easier for women to recognize and challenge unequal pay practices, was blocked for the third time in the U.S. Senate. Yet, for all who are committed to fair pay for women, this will serve only to provide a temporary setback, rather than a complete roadblock. Events such as the 2014 Equal Pay Day luncheon will only help us to pave the way to a more fair system, through educating all employees on ways to ensure equal pay.

Personally, I couldn’t have been more honored to be in attendance amongst so many brilliant minds, all working towards the unified goal of equal pay for all people, regardless of sex or color. The luncheon certainly brought to mind the cliché that ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day,’ and thus even with recent setbacks, we are bit by bit, laying a solid foundation for a fair future.


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