6 Expert Tips On Organising Your Home Office For Maximum Productivity
May, 5, 2020
Good organisation plays a key role in accomplishing our goals efficiently, and it starts with a well-kept, orderly office space. Now that we’re working from home until the foreseeable future, it’s vital to create a home office space that allows us to complete our daily tasks smoothly and without impediment, where everything we need is at hand, and in its proper place.
Working from home can make us feel a little out of sorts, and take a while to get used to. In this article, we’ll offer some expert tips on organising your home office space, so that you can feel more comfortable with your new environment, cut-down on wasted time, and hit the same levels of productivity.
Decluttering is the process of removing unnecessary items from a space, so that everything has a purpose, and is kept in the appropriate spot. By keeping your work space free of superfluous items, it’ll be easier to find the items that you do need, allowing you to work more efficiently.
Decluttering comes with mental health benefits too. When you declutter, you’re exercising your decision-making and problem-solving skills, which can create a sense of energised confidence and self-assurance. A cluttered and disordered space can leave us feeling anxious—consider how agitated you might feel if your house was an unholy mess. By regularly decluttering your work area, you’re satisfying your deep-seated preference for order, and helping to quash any nasty anxiety.
Physical activity such as tidying can also give our minds a chance to wander, which is an important component of creativity .You might emerge from a decluttering session with not only a tidier workstation, but also a solution to that niggly problem that has been bugging you for days.
Decluttering is one of the most important home office organisation tips. If you only complete one thing from this list, this is the one to do.
2. Drawer organisers
If your desk drawers are a calamitous jumble of pens, paper clips, sticky notes, painkillers, and god knows what else, you’d do well to purchase some drawer organisers so that you can marshal things into suitable groups. These can be bought cheaply from places like Officeworks, with a variety of configurations to best suit your needs. Or if you’re up for a little makeshift DIY, you can easily create divisions in your drawer with cardboard and sticky tape—one section for stationary, one for sticky notes, one for your mid-morning banana, etc.
With a well-organised desk drawer, you’ll be able to quickly grab what you need, without having to poke through a chaotic pile of items that includes at least several stabby drawing pins, waiting patiently for your finger to arrive.
3. Label, label, label
If your job still requires a decent amount of physical stuff that is regularly used, labelling will help with organising your home office. You can add labels to desk drawers and cabinets to quickly teach yourself where things are kept, and also at the end of any power cords, to identify which cords belong to which pieces of equipment.
4. Diligent filing
While working from home, it’s more important than ever to remain organised, and unless you have a filing cabinet in your home, your physical documents will need to be organised differently until you return to the office. There’s a range of temporary storage solutions for your documents, such as manila folders, document boxes or wallets, or compartmentalised “expansion filing” boxes. By finding a new storage solution and diligently filing away our documents, we reduce our stress levels by keeping things properly organised.
5. Adopt a clean desk policy
Many companies across the world have adopted a “clean desk policy,” which states that an employee’s desk must be clear at the end of the work day, with all documents, sticky notes, USBs, or any other non-essential items put away. A clean desk inspires a clean mind, allowing us to occupy ourselves with the key things that need to be achieved for the day, without unnecessary distraction. The clean desk policy might be accompanied by a rule to only check your emails twice a day, to reduce distraction even further.
Other benefits of a clean desk policy include:
- You’re achieving an aspect of ISO compliance, and helping to protect sensitive customer data.
- By having to put all physical documents away at the end of the day, you’ll be encouraged to use more digital documents, which are cheaper and much easier to find.
- You’re making a great impression on any clients visiting your home office for a meeting.
6. Get your cables in check
A spaghetti junction of cables is not only unsightly, it’s also dangerous. Cables remain one of the biggest health and safety issues in the office, which are all-too-easily tripped on when out of place. The problem is easily solved by looping excess cable together with velcro strips, and placing the looped cable behind the desk.
If possible, powerboards should be attached to the desk or wall, to keep them away from your feet. And under no circumstances should you put powerboards into powerboards (daisy chaining), as this can cause the cables to heat up, leading to an electrical fire.
These six tips will go a long way to organising your home office space. When our home office is properly organised, we’re calmer, happier, and more productive. By clearing away all distractions, deterrents, and obstacles, and by organising everything in a way that makes the most practical sense, we can complete our daily goals with confident efficiency, achieving levels of productivity that make us proud.
- Alice Boyes Ph.D., 2018, 6 Benefits of an Uncluttered Space, Psychology Today
- Kieran CR Fox, Roger E Beaty, 2018, Mind-wandering as creative thinking: Neural, psychological, and theoretical considerations, Elsevier