How to stay organised whilst working from home

There are many of us who work from home either full or part time – the pandemic created a necessity for home-working that has now become a permanent practice for many people and businesses. Whilst working from home has many advantages it also introduces some limitations compared with an office-based location – one of these issues is storage and keeping your workspace clear and manageable.

Here are some aspects to consider for maintaining a clear, organised and professional workspace at home:

Keep your home desk space clear of clutter

For most people working from home it almost inevitable that your desk or workspace is cluttered! It’s quite likely that you cannot even remember what colour the surface of your desk is – if you can’t see your desktop then it is time to declutter!

Start by removing EVERYTHING from your desk apart from your laptop or computer – then create different piles from the removed articles. Sort the items into which need retaining and those that can be discarded – some paperwork can be scanned then discarded or shredded and any documents you need to keep should be safely stored away in an archive box or file.

Keep your desk surface clear – don’t be tempted to just ‘decorate’ the space with photos, plants and such – it’s a workspace not a display cabinet! You need to ensure that your desk is a productive workspace and that the only items on it are what you need to do your work.

Use sensible storage solutions for paperwork

Storage is always an issue in any work environment and, in keeping your desk space clear, you will need to provide some other form of storage for the paperwork and documentation you will inevitably need to keep at hand for your work. Consider the vertical space around your desk – making use of the walls around your workspace can take best advantage of what would otherwise be ‘dead space’ and allow you to keep important documentation close to hand whilst preserving your valuable desk space.

If you have documents that need to be stored long-term then consider making use of a rented self-storage unit – these facilities can offer safe and secure storage that allows you flexible access to the documents whenever they may be required.

Make sure your background is ready for Zoom meetings!

One of the most intrinsic requirements for working from home has become the ‘remote meeting’ – the Zoom or Teams calls that allow you to contact and discuss issues with work colleagues or clients. These meetings not only allow you remote access to people but also allows them into your home – so ensure what they see projects the right image and professionalism!

The background to your workspace will be on show to all and you want to offer the right impression – a plain background is fine, or perhaps you want to deliberately ‘dress’ the area with appropriate books or images but be aware of the surrounding environment and ensure that it displays the image you want for your business.

Create a space used solely for work

Working from home has many advantages but it also brings some non-professional challenges. Try to create a dedicated work area that allows you to look and feel professional – if you have a space that can be used solely for that purpose then make use of it, but if you have to work from another shared space in your home, such as a kitchen or lounge, then ensure that in the hours it is being utilised as a work space that it appears that way – your partner making tea in the background or your dog jumping on your lap isn’t going to project the professional image you want!