Are you trying to revamp your home office this spring? Well you aren’t alone, spring is the perfect season to do so. Telecommuting affords millions of Americans the ability to work from home—3.1 million people, actually, according to the latest figures from TeleworkResearchNetwork.com. While some big businesses like Yahoo and Best Buy are reining in their home-based workforce, that’s still a significant number of telecommuters and freelancers who are enjoying the work-life balance that the practice brings.
When you work in traditional office environments, you often feel some peer pressure to keep a clean work area. But keeping your home workspace sharp and focused can be difficult, especially if you’re not sharing the space with anyone.
Image via: Andrew McKinney
We all know a clean and organized space can help you stay productive – plus, it just feels good. Take a look at your at-home work practices and technology; how can you take advantage of the new tech tools to increase productivity and boost your overall operation? It’s time to take stock of the tools you’re using to get the job done and learn how you can invest in a little for much gain. Clean up that home office and get organized.
The proliferation of mobile devices has enabled telecommuters to get work done while on the go, and they’re crucial to prompt communication with clients, partners and employees. Some devices that give you the freedom of a “portable office” include Web-ready laptops, tablets, no contract phones, hands-free headsets and portable scanners.
If you’re working on a bulky desktop computer, it might be time for an upgrade. Old desktop computers often consist of a tower, a large monitor and a slew of tangled up cords, taking up your already-limited space. If you can afford it, consider an iMac desktop, which consists of a sleek, thin monitor and one cord. Another option is the Samsung Chromebook. This new Google laptop weighs just 2.4 pounds and has more than 6.5 hours of battery life, and PC World calls it “cheaper and more productive” than a tablet. If you’re not interested in buying a new computer, simply switching to a flat-screen monitor and changing to a wireless keyboard and mouse can reduce clutter.
Image via: Realisation By Design
Standard printers that hook up to your computer creat unnecessary clutter on your desk. You can better utilize that space if you invest in a wireless printer that you can move off your desk. Or, how about eliminating your printer entirely? Use outside printing services such as Kinkos or UPS. You can send your documents to them online, from anywhere, and pick them up at your convenience.
If you track expenses, invoices and receipts, a receipt scanner is a great way to keep track of them while saving you from a lot of paper clutter. The Neat Company sells a receipt scanner that’s available for both the PC and Mac. The scanner captures key information such as date, amount and payment type, and puts it into the format of your choice.
A desk with a large workspace gives you room to organize the everyday items that stay on your desktop, such as a computer, phone, pen holder and notepads. Plenty of desk draws make it easier to organize your supplies, files and other items you don’t use daily. Bookshelves can be useful if you have a business that requires you to keep books and binders handy. If you have a paper-heavy business, be sure to have plenty of filing cabinets so you can neatly organize everything in appropriate folders. Proper filing will allow you to easily find documents when needed.
Image via: Beach Glass Interior Designs
According to HGTV.com, your office should have three work zones: the work center, the reference center and the supply center.
- The work center should remain clean and work-friendly. This is where you keep your computer, phone and other frequently used office items.
- The reference center is where you keep books, binders and manuals you may need to reference.
- The supply center is, of course, where you store supplies – drawers, bins and other containers to keep paper, pencils and other office supplies in an organized and easily accessible manner.
Spring cleaning your home office isn’t just about wiping the dust off the bookshelves. Declutter, get organized and make use of the latest technology to be more productive and gain greater peace of mind.
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