More of us than ever are working from home and home offices are popping up in every place we can find within our homes. Staying productive while working from home can be tricky at the best of times, let alone during a pandemic.
But there are a few things that can ensure you produce the best quality of work possible. Removing distractions, not working near the TV and following cleaning tips from regular cleaning outlets are some of the best ways to stay focused.
Actually, keeping a clean office is the best way to stay focused and productive while remote working. A dirty, cluttered workspace can lead to a cluttered mind. Not only that, but it can take you even longer to complete tasks if you are forever searching for the resources you need among piles of paperwork, old coffee cups and who knows what else!
Let’s take a look at the best 5 ways to keep your home office clean and organised.
Sort Out That Paper Clutter
Most office buildings have gone paperless but if your office is still using physical documents, you better make sure it’s organised.
Having paper all over your desk isn’t just messy, but it poses the risk of essential documents being lost and even compliance being breached if data is sensitive.
There are loads of great paper storage ideas it can be hard to decide. Most importantly, make sure you choose something that fits within the space and doesn’t impede on your home living.
If there is sensitive data to be stored, try and find a storage solution with a lock on it and make sure you keep the key in a safe, but easily accessible place.
Make sure to create a proper filing system, A-Z labels or colour-coded dividers will make the world of difference when wanting to quickly access what you need. Adding draws or sections with items ready for shredding will reduce a pile-up of old paperwork on your desk too.
When cleaning your home office, it isn’t effective trying to work around everything on your desk or in the surrounding area.
It’s time to remove everything, that includes monitors, notebooks and keyboards. Then wipe down your desk with your chosen surface cleaner or wipes.
Once everything has been cleared, you can get a better picture of what you want to keep and what can be thrown away. As lovely as it is to have family photos, desk plants and little knick-knacks, these take up precious desk space and really don’t do much to help you stay productive.
As you add those essential items back to your desk, give it a dust and a wipe down. This keeps things sparkly clean and also removes bacteria.
Don’t Eat at Your Desk
It can be an easy thing to do, sitting down at your desk to eat your lunch, especially if you have had to sacrifice your kitchen table to create your home office.
Food is one of the biggest culprits for making a desk dirty. Even the most careful eaters leave crumbs in place, not only is this dirty, but it can also cause breakdown with hardware.
It’s also important to take a break away from your desk, it improves mental health and gives you that must-needed rest from the busy working day.
Sometimes, it isn’t possible to take a full lunch break during busy periods, but make sure you set aside ten minutes to each your lunch elsewhere, it’ll keep your desk clean and keep your brain fresh for the afternoon.
Don’t Forget Your Chair
Office chairs (or whatever you are using in your home office) are often forgotten about. However, they are a breeding ground for bacteria and this needs to be addressed.
You aren’t expected to clean your chair daily but every few weeks you should set aside 20 minutes to do so.
How you do this can vary depending on what your chair is made from. Fabric chairs can be cleaned using an upholstery cleaner by following the manufacturer’s guide.
Chairs with plastic elements, such as the arms of a common office chair, can be wiped down with antibacterial wipes.
Wooden chairs should be dusted first, followed by a polishing cream as per the manufacturer’s guidelines.
If you are using cushions, wash these by following the label, if they aren’t machine washable, you can use a steam cleaner to get rid of germs.
Invest In What You Need
It’s clear now that those of us working from home are in it for the long-run so it’s time to make the home office as usable as possible.
Dry-erase boards provide a great visual for what needs to be done, this means you won’t have pieces of paper littering the place with reminders. It also means you’re unlikely to miss anything on your to-do list.
Shelving is perfect for document storage, stationary or anything else you need to help you work, setting these within reaching distance means you’re more likely to put things away too.
Use an office bin and keep it close, if you have to get up to put rubbish away, you’ll be more reluctant to do so. This will lead to litter piling up throughout the day, having a bin close by means you can get rid of everything straight away.
There are so many reasons why it’s crucial for you to keep a clean home office but with the above 5 top tips, you should be well on your way to maintaining cleanliness.