An untidy workplace can be one of the biggest pitfalls for the work at home employee, however, following a few simple guidelines will help you maintain a tidy workplace and improve productivity.
Use Appropriate Home Office Furniture
Purchase home office furniture that works for you. If your job requires that you be mobile around your home, try using a rolling laptop cart. These devices house your computer and can also store other necessary home office supplies in a drawer or behind doors (so that essential items are always tidy and within reach).
If your job allows you to establish a more permanent at-home workplace, make the most of the space that you have. Purchase a desk that has shelves or drawers, so that organization is made easier. Establish stations in your workspace, so that you always know your home office supplies, tools, and resources have their place. House reference material and professional books in bookcases, and establish a printing station.
Utilizing the appropriate home office furniture will improve productivity by helping you stay organized.
Make Home Office Supplies Accessible
Keep your home office supplies at the ready, so that you can easily grab what you need. If your job requires that you frequently use a memo pad or a stapler, don't keep those items in a locked cabinet across the room. Prioritize what home office supplies you keep on top of your desk. Place the most frequently used items at close range, and move other necessary, but less frequently used, items to a supply drawer (or to a movable supply cart).
Making your home office supplies accessible will ensure that you have what you need, when you need it, thereby improving your productivity.
Begin Your Day with a Clean Desk
As much as your work schedule will allow, make a point to clean off your desk at the end of your work day. Beginning your day with a clean, tidy desk space will make you feel refreshed and ready for the day ahead. At the end of the work day, rid your desk of the dreaded pile of "stuff" that has accumulated. Throw out unnecessary memos, scrap paper, and old documents that clutter your desk.
Depending on your type of work, it may be helpful to purchase a paper shredder. Taking a few moments to clear daily clutter and tidy your desk will improve productivity, and help you focus on the new day ahead.
Create a Memo Station
This tip is beneficial in a couple of ways. First, memos on sticky notes and scrap paper are one of the main causes of workplace clutter, so creating a memo station is a way to reduce the mess. Hang a multifunction memo board on the wall close to your desk, or lean it against the back of your desk off to the side of your computer monitor. Multifunction memo boards have a cork portion, that allows you to hang memos on the board with push pins, and a dry erase portion, where you can write to-do lists and other important notes. Dry erase boards are also magnetic.
Second, having a memo station will cut down on missed appointments and forgotten phone numbers, because you will have a neat and organized place to store them. Another helpful tip is to keep your daily planner close to the memo station, so that if you have to quickly jot down a number on the dry erase board, you can then transfer it to your address book.
To improve productivity, you must have a tidy workplace. Maintaining a clean and organized workspace will cut down on your workplace stress, and make you more efficient. If you use appropriate home office furniture, make home office supplies accessible, begin your day with a clean desk, and make a memo station, you will improve productivity and improve your quality of life.