Like most people, when you first started working from home in 2020 you probably thought it would be temporary. But as time went on, you or your company (or both) may have realized that a permanent, home-based position was the best solution for everyone. In fact, many companies across the country have realized how allowing employees to work from home is boosting motivation, sharpening focus, and improving overall health—so much so that they’re offering it as a permanent option. As a result, many homes have not only one home-based employee, but sometimes two. But while it can be relatively easy to keep your office workspace clean, it can be more difficult to prevent a home office space from becoming grimy and cluttered. Learning how to keep your permanent workspace clean and organized can help boost your productivity and ensure your career as a home-based employee is successful.
Create a Separate Workspace
Your environment plays a key role in shaping your state of mind and your ability to maintain focus. Separating your workspace from your living, playing, and sleeping spaces can help your brain associate the time you spend in your workspace with concentration and productivity. However, not everyone has enough room in their apartment or house to dedicate an entire room to a home office. Luckily, there are options that can work nearly as well. For example, if you have one large room (like a den or a living room/dining room combo) you can cordon off an area using furniture or a folding screen to create a separate workspace. Even a small apartment can host more than one work area by using smaller laptops and fold-away desks. By giving yourself a defined workspace, you create a healthy separation between your work and home life.
Boosting Your Motivation
One of the advantages of working in an office is the cleaning service comes in every night to clean. When you return the next morning, the desks have been dusted and the trash cans emptied. But when you’re a home-based worker, you have to find your own motivation to keep your workspace clean. And when you’ve been working eight hours a day or longer, the last thing you want to do is clean your home office. However, setting up a quick 15-minute daily cleaning routine can help you create an activity that separates your work life from your home life.
While most office workers end the day with a drive or ride on public transportation that allows them time to switch from “work mode” to “home mode”, home-based workers don’t have the same opportunity. As a result, it’s easy to feel like you’re never really off work. Taking the time at the end of the day to tidy up your desk, empty trash, and clean surfaces with a disinfecting wipe sends a signal to your brain that the workday is finished.
Sharpening Your Focus
Many home-based workers say they prefer working from home because there are less distractions. The popularity of open workspaces in office buildings has also increased interruptions from impromptu meetings, ringing phones, and co-worker conversations. However, a home office can have its own set of distractions, from deliveries to kids to pets. But one of the less obvious distractions is also one of the easiest to fix—clutter.
While having decorative objects scattered around your living space can be comforting, having too many in your work area can negatively affect your focus. If your attention is sidetracked or you can’t find an item you need, it can decrease your productivity. Keeping your workspace clean and uncluttered sharpens your focus, allowing you to work harder and produce higher quality work. Especially if your household is supporting two home-based workers, try to keep the personal clutter out of your workspace. After all, if you want to see pictures of the kids or admire your favorite vase, all you have to do is walk into the other room.
Related Topic: Office Cleaning Checklist
Improving Your Health
In most office environments, the average keyboard, chair, and computer mouse harbor some 21,000 germs per square inch. In your home workspace, your desk might be exposed to activities that you would rarely do in the office including eating, comforting children, or petting animals. As a result, the desk in your home office could host more than 10 million bacteria. That’s 100X more germs than the average kitchen table and 400X more than the average toilet seat. Yuck!
Home-based workers aren’t exposed to the same level of germs as office workers who utilize the same equipment, share crowded elevators, or use public bathrooms. However, since dirty surfaces cause 60% of all illnesses, keeping your desk, keyboard, mouse, and other home office surfaces clean is an important part of maintaining and improving your health while working from home. Washing your hands frequently and keeping a small pack of disinfecting wipes handy can do wonders to reduce the level of bacteria on your work surfaces.
Despite all the advantages of working out of a home office, sometimes you still need a break— especially if there are two home-based workers in the same house. On those days when you’d rather leave the cleaning to someone else, Molly Maid can provide you with a custom cleaning plan to cover your home office. They can even provide customized scheduling to provide services as infrequently or often as you’d like. A cleaning service like Molly Maid can help you make sure you’re both happier and more productive in your home office than you were in the big office building downtown.