With the transition of a huge chunk of the workforce into work from home setup, many have since struggled to get productive. Many felt the need to define the fine line between personal space and workspace. The new setup brought about the challenge of staying productive. And one of the best things to boost work productivity is by organizing your workspace at home.
You see, your workspace is a crucial part of your work. If you fail to acknowledge its importance, you are putting your work productivity on the line. Thus, you have to ensure that your workspace is clutter-free and work conducive. That said, here are the secret tips in organizing a creative workspace.
The benefits of having an organized workspace
Working from home is not an excuse to allow your workspace to be not as organized as your office space. After all, a neat workspace induces more productivity. Learn more about being productive while working remotely through this top-rated Skill Success course, Productivity: Be Hyper Productive When Working From Home.
When your workspace is cluttered, your mind gets distracted. It strips you off the focus you need in performing tasks at hand since there’s disorganization in plain sight. As a result, you get fewer things done, or worse, it compromises work quality.
Organization is key to having increased productivity, reduced stress, improved eating habits, and better sleep quality.
Having an organized workspace also saves you time from finding things you need as you work. When you know exactly where things are, you can function more efficiently.
1. Pick the perfect spot.
Since you are in your own home, you have the total control of where you want to work. However, not all corners of your home are work-appropriate. You need to take into consideration your comfort, convenience, and preferences.
For starters, it’s almost impossible to work on your bedroom and sleep in it afterward. It’s not a work-conducive area and tempts you to slack off. Instead, a good workspace should be a room with fewer distractions and good lighting for work meetings. It can be by the window to get a picturesque view of your garden, which is therapeutic for preventing eye strain.
2. Invest in good equipment and furniture.
Your equipment is your asset in working from home. Aside from a functional computer, you need a good table, ergonomic chair, and PC accessories to hold your workstation together. These might not come cheap, but they are definitely worth the investment because they provide necessary support and comfort.
A good table should be sturdy enough to carry your computer and stand just the right height when you sit. On the other hand, your chair needs to be comfortable enough to help you stay focused for hours. You need one with a good armrest and good back support.
In terms of PC accessories, these can vary on what type of PC you have. If you are on a PC, a wireless keyboard, ergonomic mouse, and mousepad will be great. Whereas a laptop doesn’t need much of these can be of great help too.
3. Declutter all unnecessary things in your workspace.
The key to organizing your workspace into a work conducive area is by decluttering. When you get rid of things you don’t need, you can keep a minimalist area that only contains everything you need. This way, you know exactly where to find items when you need them, making you save time.
The right approach in knowing which items need to stay in your workspace is getting everything laid out on the floor. Then, assess each one’s function in your daily activities. If you see yourself reaching out for these quite a lot, you need them within arms’ reach. And all that’s left must go or hidden in the shelves or somewhere else like self storage.
4. Decorate your desk.
Your desk is all yours to personalize. A minimalist setup doesn’t necessarily mean sticking to the essentials and leaving out decorations. You can wing a clutter-free workspace with the right mix and match of items and furniture.
You can follow a particular color palette or an interior design to base off what you’ll need. Some of the things you can put in your desk and workspace include:
- A small pot of plant for a touch of greenery
- Functional pieces like a handy basket or metalware that can hold little trinkets and pens
- A humidifier for diffusing relaxing oils
- Color-coded file organizer or paperwork
- Aesthetic lamp shade for night work sessions
- Mood board for to-do lists and inspirational reminders
- A handy calendar that suits your desk
- A designated cabinet for corded items like chargers and connectors
5. Tidy those wires.
Nothing hurts the eyes more when you see a tangled mess of wires on a desk or under the table. It’s not just annoying to look at; it takes up time to untangle and find out which is which. And luckily, you can keep cables kempt by organizing them one by one and grouping them in one organized bunch.
In doing this, you will need some cable ties, labels, and hooks. You can start by separating each wire and labeling them one by one. Then you can bunch them together in a neat group with cable ties. Lastly, attach them on hooks that are strategically hidden at the back of your desk or table. And voila, you can now save your eyes from the sore of seeing messy wires.
6. Have a trash bin beside you.
Although you are working from home, you might still accumulate pieces of trash that you need to get rid of while working. And to save you from finding a bin outside your workspace, you can place a trash bin nearby to save time. The good thing about having a trash can within your reach is you won’t lose focus of what you’re doing.
The presence of a trash can nearby makes your workspace somehow complete. It stops you from going out when you are in the moment, making you fully productive.
7. Segment your workstation.
If you have ample space to accommodate multiple work zones, that might work best for you. Segmenting work zones means assigning a spot for particular tasks and routines. Let’s say you can have a computer area for all PC-related tasks, a printing kiosk for your printing and scanning tasks, and a non-PC area for tasks that do not require your PC.
This strategy might be costly for space, but this works best for people who like varying working environments. It is easy to organize your activities when you have a designated area for them.
8. Declutter your PC.
Your computer needs some decluttering too. One of the keys to having optimum work productivity is by having a neat workspace virtually. Your PC requires some organization as well to encourage productivity.
When your files on your PC are all over the place, you sabotage your efficiency. This is because you will spend minutes browsing through folders when you misplace your files. Thus, you need to declutter and organize your storage and PC workspace.
9. Minimize paper use.
Lessening your paper use is one of the easiest ways to organize your workspace. It’s not just sustainable, but it also saves you from the trash that can accumulate. And this is possible by using digital tools to aid you in jotting down notes, setting up calendars, and more.
There are several apps and software that offer these functionalities. Great examples are Dropbox, Evernote, Google Calendar, Google Keep, Bear, and more. These cloud-based platforms save you from using paper that only goes straight to the trash after one use.
10. Designate a “Pending” Bin.
A “pending” bin is a space where you can put all pending tasks you will finish later. Rather than putting them at your desk, where they can accumulate as you work, you can set aside a portion of your space for all pending items. Having them at your desk creates unnecessary clutter, which not only looks disorganized but also makes you think you have heaps of to-dos.
That said, keep your desk clear and designate a bin for then. This will make it easier for you to take on them later when it’s time to do so. Even more, it clears your mind not to see them accumulate.
11. Invest in lots of shelving and cabinets.
Cabinets are the king of organization. They can hide your clutter and create space for the necessary things. You can opt to install cabinets on the walls to keep things out of the way. There is a wide variety of cabinets that can make your workspace look dainty yet functional. But for extra workspace, you can opt for one that has a countertop.
Once you have the cabinets installed, you may get organizer bins and holders to categorize the items. These organizers will help you locate things quickly since they are categorized by their use. Not only will your cabinet look organized, but also cute.
12. Put up a working calendar.
While a mood board helps you get inspired as you work, having a working calendar in place keeps you on track with your tasks. Ideally, this calendar should be able to accommodate your task entries for each day. So, that means each day should have ample space for a small note.
You can design this according to your preference and hang it somewhere you can see right away. You can place it on the wall nearest you or right at your desk. This will help you remind yourself of the priorities on that day.
13. Add a touch of inspiration.
Whether you are after minimalism or not, you can always get away with adding a touch of inspiration to your design. This drives your mindset on the right things—your goals and motivation to work.
To add these inspirational details, you can add a few clippings to your mood board. Or you may also put a trinket from your previous travel to remind you of your next travel goal. Anything would do to spike your motivation in working harder.
14. Sweep personal items off your desk.
Your desk is the center of your workspace. This is where you should start cleaning as you will do most of the work here. To remain clutter-free, start with getting off personal items that have nothing to do with your job.
While you love looking at your recent family picture, it doesn’t need to be at your desk. You need space for your tasks, so consider moving them to a different spot where you can still adore them. Some other items that do not necessarily have to be on your desk include books, magazines, awards, plants, and souvenirs—unless they truly make you more productive.
15. Spice up your workspace with more character.
Minimalist or not, your space could use some character to it. Don’t leave it looking dull and boring. You can add more visual interest to your room by planning the interior design, buying artsy functional items, and placing striking pieces.
These designs will add some quirk to your space, making it cozier to work at. In contrast with having a bland space that might draw out your motivation to work at home. Here is an interior design class you should check out if you’re looking for ideas.
16. Put some labels.
If you tend to be forgetful, adding some labels to organizers, drawers, and folders will come in handy. These will allow you to locate things quickly when you are in a rush. Having labels forces you to categorize items according to their purpose or deadline.
Label bins and organizers, especially when their contents are not visible enough. This also allows you to have breezy inventory tracking when you need to check your supplies.
17. Consider cloud storage and file-sharing services.
Your digital workspace is just as important as your physical workspace. In addition to decluttering your PC, you should consider using cloud storage to back up your files to keep things centralized as you work on multiple devices. You can also read about NAS vs cloud storage.
You may also utilize a file-sharing service to limit access to co-workers who don’t need specific files. Keeping files open to everyone has its perils you will never want to happen. So as you use a centralized digital repository, ensure you limit access to the right people.
18. Go wireless.
If you can’t tame your unkempt cable wires, why not consider going wireless? There’s a whole new market for everything wireless today. The lack of visible wires peeking out on your workspace brings a soothing feeling. It will help you feel more organized and focused on the right things.
Some of the wireless gadgets and equipment you can use include a keyboard, mouse, headset, phone charger, and router. You may also minimize the use of cable wires to connect gadgets by using wireless printers, photocopiers, and more.
19. Organize your desk before and after you work.
Just because you are working at home doesn’t mean you are free to leave clutter before you go. Treat your home workspace the way your office—don’t leave junk before heading out.
Building the habit of cleaning before and after you work will become innate to you soon enough. This results in a clutter-free workspace that induces productivity before you start working.
20. Prioritize mental health and wellbeing.
When working from home, it’s easy to get holed up in your space and lose oneself in a sea of tasks. Some recent reports suggest that working from home causes even more burn-out than working in the office. This only reiterates the need to prioritize mental health and wellbeing as you work remotely.
There are many ways you can incorporate this into your workspace. You should practice a regular form of self-care to maintain good wellbeing. You can hang motivational quotes on the wall, place an indoor plant in the room, or have a stress ball near you. Think of anything that improves your mental health and try to squeeze them into your home office.
See, organizing your workspace doesn’t have to cost much of your money and time. It only needs your organizational skills.
Need some advice on acing your work from home setup? Here are some well-recommended online courses to take up:
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