Streamlining your home office to increase productivity

To make working at home even more fun, you need to know where to reduce any added clutter, make the optimum use of space, and outfit yourself ergonomically. Fortunately, if you use the proper lighting and electronics, you can streamline your home office space into a hassle-free and stress-free workplace.

Streamlining your home office to increase productivity

A continual process

Before you begin decluttering your desk, you need to make it your goal to abandon any excuse that keeps you from recycling, scanning, or filing some of the detritus into the trash.

Organization is an ongoing process if you want to make your home work life more enjoyable. Freeing up the workflow involves several steps — easy-to-follow processes that you can quickly catch onto once you get used to the operational process.

Define the word "task"

A task is a procedure that, like a good story, is made up of a beginning, middle, and end.

For instance, updating your financial accounts and distributing the payroll are examples of tasks.

Therefore, breaking down any task is helpful in understanding the specifics of the work and delegating some parts of the activity (if possible).

Collaborate your efforts online

When you understand the mechanics of a task, you can figure out how you can incorporate the work involved into the cloud or simplify it electronically. This step is often essential to collaboration with other workers.

Plenty of software exists for just this sort of collaboration, ranging from messenger programs to sites or apps that let you share files. As such, using collaborative software can help you more easily communicate with other workers or clients, distribute information, and receive feedback.

Collaboration and outsourcing make it much easier for the home office worker to have more work time to spend on the tasks that he or she holds as the most important.

Take a break from working online

While it is okay to make IT improvements to increase efficiency, you can also use some of the old-fashioned modes of equipment in your day too.

For example, if you're using a three-hole punch to file some of your notes in a binder, then enjoy the 10-minute reprieve. Sometimes, you just need a psychological break from working online to bring your productivity back up.

Remove any unnecessary steps or activities

Make an effort to discard any steps in the workflow process that appear to be unnecessary.

For example, if you are e-mailing a remote staff member about a revision instead of using a collaborative platform, it may be time to make the switch.

Choose the proper lighting

Lighting is also important when it comes to increasing productivity.

Use a soft, glare-free light that decreases strain on the eyes.

The light source you have on your desk (sometimes called "task lighting") should supplement the ambient lighting you use. Make sure the task lighting originates from a lamp that can be conveniently positioned over your desk. The light should be situated so it gleams on any paper you might be using and not your computer monitor.

Light levels should also be proper for all of the tasks you take on during your day.

So make sure that the ambient lighting does not wash out your computer's screen, as reading becomes more difficult and errors can result.

Change that makes sense to you

Implementing these changes in a way that makes sense to you can help you declutter and streamline your home work space. And, doing that can help you work more efficiently and effectively in your home office.

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