Quick Steps to an Organised Home Office
The prevalence of the SOHO (small office, home office) means we're cramming work activities and tools into small spaces. Running a business, studying, or just conducting your everyday life from home can create mayhem in your office or study. You might have papers strewn all over the floor and desk, in trays on top of your filing cabinet, or piles of folders on top of a washing basket.
Are you as productive as you could be, or would a few tips help you create "command central" rather than "command chaos"? If you're ready to take charge and make your office more efficient, take a look at these simple steps to help get you started.
Look at the Room as a Whole
Do you have an allocated office or study, or is it a shared spare room, with lots of other uses? Maybe it's your ironing storage area, or holds the kids' old toys, or has a sofa bed for overnight guests. Remember that the more you try and store in this room, the less space you'll be able to allocate to your office needs. You might also face distractions (from a huge ironing pile, for example!) from the other items. You might feel despondent walking into your office to work or complete your tax return if you have boxes, baskets and other items strewn around - you're likely to be distracted by the mess and focus on that, rather than your work. If your office must be shared with lots of other functions, you might consider installing storage to hide or block the visibility of everything unrelated to your work. Alternatively, spend some time clearing out unused items. The more you can dedicate the room to creating a productive work environment, the less time you'll need to spend in there!
Create the Desk of Champions
File to Find it Fast
- Your desk is your work area and should be treated with respect. It's not a dumping ground for everything that doesn't have a home and if you don't have adequate space to work, it's detrimental to your mind and body.
- Your desk set up will depend on what you use it for, and how you work. If you prefer to work on the computer, then your computer should be given priority. If you work on paper a lot, make sure you've given yourself room to spread out your notepads, and use a computer that is physically small.
- Try and keep things off your desk. Take a look in office stores and storage specialist shops to see what creative storage options they offer - perhaps on walls, on the side of filing cabinets, on the back of your door - innovative solutions that keep your desk clear.
- Invest in a good chair, suited to the desk you have and the number of hours you spend in it. If you spend 10 hours a day at your desk, your chair needs to reflect that. Taking a chair from your dining table just won't cut it. Make sure you consider if your desk allows for arm rests on the chair - it will depend on your height and the height of your desk.
- Make sure you have adequate light on your desk - either natural or artificial. If you can, position your desk near a nice window and enjoy both a view, and natural light.
- Your office floor shouldn't be carpeted by paper, and if you keep piles of paper on spare chairs and on book shelves, you'll never find things in a hurry! Try Avery® Lock Files for quick storage. You can temporarily store papers in a lock file before transferring to your filing system.
- Go through your files on a regular basis. File what you need to keep, and recycle what you can dispose of. Keep files current so you can easily access the most relevant information, and archive your old files. It's easy to update file folders in a jiffy with labels for manilla files, or label binders and folders with labels for lever arch files. You'll notice your efficiency improve if you don't have to search through multiple files for a particular document.
- Running a business from home? Make sure you keep your work-related items separate from your personal business using separate filing cabinets. Also, designate different coloured file folders for work and home to cut down on the confusion.
Try our tips to help optimise the time you spend in your study or office. It's key that you avoid your office or study becoming another junk room or storage room, or just plain messy. Your time spent working, or studying, or running the household, will benefit from a space that's arranged for that purpose. Keeping the space organised will help you keep your work life in the office, and you family life in every other room!
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