There’s not much difference between our home and office workspace except the way we treat them. Our home workspace might have a few extra photos around the walls than our office, which might have nothing but whiteboards with performance targets to look at, but the principle use of our desk and office space is essentially the same. There is one identical feature of every desk in offices all over the world – the ability to collect clutter.
The Filing System
There’s a saying that is very apt for this blog. Einstein was once told that a cluttered desk was a sign of a cluttered mind, to which he replied, “What then, does an empty desk imply?” That may have worked for Einstein when he was told to sort his desk out, but how many of us could deliver a response that like that and sit back amongst our piles of papers that can only be described as the filing system that forgot what the word system means?
If you can’t fix your desk space, how are you going to manage to organise the rest of your office unless you want to use professional cleaning services? The trick is to keep on top of your workload and set-aside time for housekeeping. When you manage your time properly, your office will be a much more relaxing place to work because unless you are able to handle complex thoughts and imaginary filing systems as easily as Einstein, you will need to find some kind of order.
Making the Routine Part of your Day
It’s difficult to take and idea and turn it into a habit without pressure or motivation from somewhere. So making your home office tidy and keeping it that way is a lot harder than your office and it’s harder if you spend your working days at home in shorts socks and a vest instead of dressing as if you are working. Anyone who spends a day or two working from home each week, whether it’s a Monday morning or at the weekend, should be approaching work as they would in a recognised place of work.
In other words, you should have a fixed start time, fixed break time and remove all interruptions that could interfere with your ability to function and stick to your routine. When you begin to treat your home office like a real place of work, you are more likely to stick to a housekeeping regime. Make things easier on yourself and immediately shred anything you don’t need by keeping a shredder under your desk and never eat lunch by your desk or bring anything to your home office that doesn’t need to be there to help you work.
The Benefit of a Clean Office
The most important reason for getting your office in order is not really about health and hygiene although, that is something you should concern yourself with if you don’t want to take days off due to illness. The most important benefit gained from an office that is organised and has everything in its place is productivity. We may not have Einstein’s intellect, so that’s why our desks, like our minds need organisation.
About the author:
Julie Witherton has been working from home for more than fifteen years and rarely travels to the office unless it is an extreme circumstance. That has meant she’s had plenty of time to experience the benefits of a clean and tidy home office.