Over 4.7 million people work from home at least half of the time. Are you one of them?
If so, do you have a designated workspace? Whether you have a family, share your space with a roommate, or live alone, work organization is absolutely crucial, especially if you’re trying to prove to your boss that you can do your job- and do it well- remotely.
Does this scenario sound familiar to you? Work organization at home is a necessity, from keeping files organized to creating a functional dedicated space for your work while you stay free from distractions. Keep reading to learn some tips for working from home effectively.
1. Create a Separate Workspace, Even if Simplistic
It’s easy to believe that you can still be productive if you work from the same space as where you eat and live, but that’s not the case. You NEED to create a separate work desk for yourself, even if it’s just a nook under the stairs or a little table in the corner of your studio bedroom apartment.
And this work desk needs to be used ONLY for work, not to eat your meals, not to have conversations with your relatives, and not to help your little ones do their homework. This kind of strict delineation might seem unnecessary, but it will help you work more efficiently. Your brain will know that it’s work time every time you come to your desk and it will rapidly get into work mode.
If you mix your work desk with too many other tasks, your brain, and nervous system will be confused about it all and this can build up your anxiety levels pretty fast. Even if you have very little space in your apartment or home, there are many desks for sale nowadays meant for smaller spaces, so take advantage of them.
There are even work desks that you can stow away after usage, so you can use that space for something else when you are not ‘at work’. As long as you don’t use your work desk for something else as well, it will help you stay organized, both mentally and physically.
2. Use Vertical Storage to Save on Space
Another thing to remember when thinking about work from home organization is to use vertical space as much as possible. If you don’t have the space for traditional bookshelves or storage, why not add vertical bookshelves above your desk? This is a great way to maximize space in your work area and also be creative about your storage space.
You could opt for unconventional and functional storage solutions like using hanging clipboards, corkboards, and whiteboards, to pin papers and other valuable information without taking up desk space. You could also use hanging baskets, and mount shelves on the walls, to store items that you can’t do without when working.
3. Keep Your Personal Time Separate from Work Time
This is a big one for all remote workers. It’s too easy to mix your precious personal time with your work time when there are no clear demarcation points like commute time.
In a traditional workday, you leave your home to go to work and leave work to come home. This tells you clearly when you need to start personal time, vs. when you start work time.
But when you are working from home, you need to make those demarcation points yourself. You can do this by putting away your work phone in a box once you are done with work, so you don’t check it while having dinner with the family (or put it on airplane mode if you have that option).
And you can also ensure that you time block your day, so you know clearly when you are starting work and ending it, and when you need to spend quality time with loved ones.
4. Do Not Forget to Keep Your Desk Clean
Work from home productivity depends highly on how organized you stay and this means keeping your desk as clean as possible. It might be easy to let things go, especially since you don’t have peer pressure from coworkers forcing you to keep things tidy. Maybe you are taking this opportunity to let yourself go, cleanliness-wise.
But that’s going to increase your stress levels fast, if you can’t find important papers, or if you are having a hard time getting anything done because your workspace is so distractingly messy.
Make a rule for yourself that you will clean up your desk at the end of each workday, so you can come to a fresh and clean desk the next day. This should help boost your productivity quite a bit.
5. Organize Yourself Using Workspace Apps
Due to the surge in remote workers, there are many workspace organising apps that are popping up nowadays. If you haven’t used one of these yet, you are missing out. They use scientific research and other valuable data to give you feedback on organizing your workspace at home.
This way you don’t have to waste your time by reinventing the wheel. You can focus on getting your work done fast in a workspace that works for you, and then get back to fun family time.
Work Organization at Home Requires a Bit of Creativity
When you go to work in a traditional office, there are many other smart people taking care of work organization, so you don’t have to. But when you work from home, all that responsibility falls upon your inexperienced shoulders.
Use the tips for working from home mentioned above to start with. And then as you get more experienced working from home, you will have your own tips to add to the list.
Keep reading through our website for more tips on organization at home.