Working from home? Keep it tidy!
Almost everyone is working from home in 2021. If you are working from home and don’t know the Importance of keeping your work area tidy, then stick around for a few minutes and maybe you can gain some insight into the importance of keeping your work area tidy when working from home!
Why? There are many reasons why you should keep your workspace tidy in general. However, these reasons multiply in importance when working from home as the space is no longer left behind when you clock out, it's still right there in your living room, kitchen or office space where you may want to put your feet up and relax.
Some of the most important reasons, in our opinion, to keep a workspace tidy are the following:
A clean working environment helps you to work more efficiently by simply being more organised. With a good level of organisation, you will always know where things are. How many times are you flicking through bits of paper trying to find that complaint letter you got from Karen and need to respond to? Being organised means you just grab it from your complaints tray and crack on.
Reduced Stress Levels
Having an organised and clean workspace can help reduce stress levels. We know all too well how challenging working from home can be. I think between Clair and I, we have gained more grey hairs in the last few months than I ever imagined I would pre-60!
Going hand in hand with the reason above, is mental clarity. Having less 'buzz' going on in your head allows you to really focus in on the task at hand. Not being distracted by out of place items around you and how messy the shelf above you is, simply allows you to channel more into what you're doing and get into a state of flow.
A tidy workspace at home allows you to more easily draw the line between work and home life. Working from home it can be really tricky to juggle the two. You're sitting with your feet up watching telly but that paperwork riddled desk is beckoning you to just do 5 minutes to make tomorrow easier. And visa versa! Just 5 minutes of telly and you'll have a clear head to get back to work full force... Right?... 4 seasons of Superstore later...! By having a clear workspace you can really draw the line between each area of your life, even if your work is literally in the same room. If your desk is clear and the shelves are organised, you will have less of an urge to be distracted. This is something that was hugely noticeable for us personally.
It doesn't feel necessary to really dive into the hygiene element of keeping things clean and tidy. It's preached everywhere. Especially right now. We're all very much aware of it! However, while writing this, I have just scribbled down a note to do an article on just what grubby bugs linger around in your workplace if you don't keep it clean so keep an eye out for that if it's something you might be curious about!
In short: Clean your stuff. It's not hygienic to have a dirty or messy workspace!
This one is very undervalued or overlooked. Pride. In this situation, when we're faced with the same few walls constantly and the most social interaction many of us are getting is via video calls, it can be tough to feel like you're doing much that's worthwhile. Something simple like keeping your work space clean and tidy can actually make you feel pride in yourself. This has worked really well for me personally on days where I'm feeling a bit down in the dumps. A simple morale booster!
"Ok that's great and all guys but HOW do I actually do it when I don't have time between juggling work and home life and home schooling and yada yada?!"
Ok let's go through how you can achieve all the reasons listed above... Disinfectant Wipes
Disinfectant wipes like these are incredibly handy. You can pop them under your monitor, they take up minimal space and they're really effective with minimal time requirement. You can use them to sanitise your keyboard, mouse and desk with a simple wipe over. Doing this each time you take a break is a great way to build a habit.
We recommend doing more thorough cleans of the area fairly regularly but alcohol wipes used regularly throughout the day is absolutely a great bang for buck option for through the working day.
Keep your workspace clutter free. This is so important! It's so easy to get overwhelmed and overrun by bits of paper, sticky notes, pens, a diary, coffee cups, a phone, and if you're anything like us... Pictures of ladybugs and plastic cups covered in glitter glue that you're being forced into keeping forever or face offending your young artist!
The best way we've found for reducing clutter is a letter tray like this which we separate into sections that work for us. These sections will be different for everyone depending on what you do but mine has 'Family Paperwork', 'Leads', 'Blog/Website Stuff' and 'Artwork'. Clair has 'Income', 'Expenses', 'Coursework' and 'Other Stuff'. Clearly, both of these hold things that are family or life centric alongside work life bits. This works for us and our girls love that their art work gets filed in with 'the important things we're not allowed to touch'. Sometimes I even find that they've posted bits of art for me which is such a wonderful find!
Anyway.. I digress.. Put away your coffee cup when you're making the next one. Get a letter tray and use it effectively by adding titles. Another thing I've started using quite a lot is a paper holder like this. I love it for writing these articles as well as other stuff. It just attaches to my monitor and makes it easier to read than if it's cluttering up an A4 space on my desk.
We are huge advocates of schedules and plans for everything. That doesn't mean we're regimented and on time with everything in a rigid set way. We're not robots. Life keeps us all on our toes. But we like to have a layout or rough guide for what needs to be done and we make sure it happens that day as much as possible.
We're working on a weekly schedule that you guys can download and print off or use as a template for a schedule that suits your own timescales. Keep an eye out for that coming really soon. We'll pop it as a clickable button here to make it as easy as possible as always!
And that's it guys and girls! Hopefully this has shed some light on why and how to keep your workspace clean and tidy while working from home. As always, if you have any questions, fire away! We're always available to help out. Be sure to check out our other blog posts for other tips and tricks for making life that little bit easier!