11th February, 2021
Whether you’re a work from home veteran or you’re just starting to dabble in running your business from home, keeping the home office organised is one of the best ways to work efficiently and productively.
Many business owners dream of working from home. No hours sat in busy traffic, and no constant knocking on the office door.
But the realities of running a business from home can sometimes be quite different. If you’re keen to work from home without losing the plot, staying organised really is the key.
When running your business from home, you’ll usually prioritise comfort.
It’s natural. You’ll put your efforts into creating an ergonomic home office that helps you to remain comfortable and focused throughout the day. But it’s not all about comfort.
Efficiency should also be a priority when working from home.
It’s vital to create a workspace that makes it easy for you to not only keep up with your regular tasks, but also oversee all business operations and team management, even when you’re not on-site.
That’s where organisation comes in. Here are 10 simple organisation tips to boost efficiency at home:
Think you run a business in front of the TV in your living room? Think again.
It’s essential you give yourself a dedicated workspace that helps you to separate your home life from your work life. If you don’t have such a space available, it’s time to make one. Consider moving some items into a self storage unit to free up some space and move smaller items into a spare cupboard, shed, or the garage.
While clearing out a room may give you space to work, it may not give you space to actually store all the equipment you need to run your business.
Baskets, cubbies, hooks, buckets, folders, and jars can be transformed into useful storage units to free up your desk space and create a tidy, uncluttered environment. Also, consider placing some shelves or shelving units to make use of dead wall space.
According to the US process management firm Nintex, half of all workers have difficulty finding documents.
To work efficiently in your home office, it’s important that you know where everything is so that you’re not wasting time rifling through piles of paperwork, especially when you need to provide information quickly to your employees. Give everything its own space, and try to use a logical system you can stick to
Now that you have a dedicated workspace and optimal storage, it’s time to establish a work zone.
Take a look around your home office and identify any potential distractions that could tear you away from the task at hand. This could be a television, landline telephone that’s not intended to be used for work purposes, or even non-work items such as children’s toys which could attract ‘visitors’ during the day.
While it’s a good idea to try and maintain a clear and uncluttered desk, it’s also important to ensure you have all day-to-day essentials within easy reach to boost efficiency.
Place a small basket on your desk and fill it with everyday essentials that you need. This will vary depending on your industry, but generally, a pen and notepad come in handy. Position the basket so you can grab what you need when you need it.
Colour coding isn’t just for kids.
Bringing a bit of colour into your home office isn’t just a way to brighten things up… it can actually help you to maintain an organised space that facilitates efficient working.
Consider adding coloured stickers to differentiate and identify documents (in the office and in your computer). You could colour code by the client, or by the team handling each client. It makes it easier to grab the right documents when you need them.
If your employees are also working from home, remember that it’s easy for them to lose track of the days when normal day-to-day office routines are disturbed.
Of course, it’s your workers’ responsibility to ensure they’re meeting targets, but by hanging a wall calendar marked with important deadlines and dates, you can help to ensure that your employees are staying on track and working efficiently from home.
When you’re dealing with desktop cables, laptop chargers, phone chargers, printer cables, fan cables, and network cables, your home office can start to become quite messy.
If something goes wrong with a vital piece of equipment that you rely on for working efficiently, it’s important that you can identify and fix a problem quickly.
Consider labelling your cables, so you can fix problems without wasting time.
If you have high quantities of paperwork, you might find that, after a while, molehills turn into mountains. This can make it harder to find the documents you need, create a mess, and impact productivity.
Try assigning discard dates by labelling or stamping paperwork with a date that it can be destroyed or recycled. This can help to keep your paperwork piles manageable and under control.
Use the time that you would have spent commuting at the end of the day to give a quick ‘once over’.
Tidy up and put items back into their proper places, getting your home office ready so that you can hit the ground running the next morning and really kickstart your productivity.
It’s also a good idea to check who’s doing what the next day, so you can prepare yourself for any questions that may come your way.
While your current work from home arrangement may only be temporary, remote working is becoming increasingly common across Australia. 74 percent of Australians consider flexible working to be the ‘new normal’, according to the International Workplace Group’s annual survey, and 71 percent of organisations now have a flexible workspace policy.
Even if you’ve never really been interested in running your business from home, the benefits of doing so are becoming more and more apparent.
Demand for flexibility is also rising from Australian workers, so by taking the time to create and tailor your own home working processes now, you could be giving your business the tools it needs to succeed in the future.