A Clean Work Environment Improves Productivity
As September approaches, many of us are still working from home and the kids are either off to school, or starting up a homeschool schedule again. You may have been working from home for more than a year now, or maybe you have been for decades.
Interestingly from April 2020 to June 2021, 30% of Canada’s workforce aged 15 to 64 who worked during the Labour Force Survey reference week had performed most of their hours from home. In contrast, only 4% of employees did so in 2016. This is in line with a trend we’re seeing—as time has passed during the pandemic you and/or your employer may have realized that a permanent, home-based position is the best solution.
The common response is that allowing employees to work from home is boosting motivation, increasing efficiency, allowing for a drop in long commute times and improving overall health. It’s a permanent option for many! As a result, many homes have not only one home-based team member, but often two. And while it can be relatively easy to keep elements of your office workspace clean, it can be more difficult to prevent a home office space from becoming cluttered and in need of a deep clean. Making it a habit to keep your workspace tidy and organized can help boost your productivity and ensure your career is as successful as possible.
Finding Joy in Routines
One of the advantages of working in an office is the cleaning service comes in most nights to clean. When you return the next day, the desks have been wiped down and the garbage cans emptied. When you’re the host of your own office, you have to find that motivation to keep your personal space clean. This might be the last thing you want to do after a long day. However, setting up a 15-minute daily cleaning routine can provide an activity that separates your work life from your home life.
Many of us used to end the day with a drive or public transportation route. This provided a break to switch from “work time” to “home time.” Since home-based employees don’t have the same opportunity, it’s easy to feel like you haven’t officially left work. Take time at the end of the day: Turn off your computer, tidy up your desk, empty the litter bin, and use sanitizer wipes on surfaces to send a signal to your brain that the workday is complete.
Keep the Disinfectant Handy
Speaking of sanitizer wipes, in most office environments, the average keyboard, chair, and computer mouse harbor thousands of germs. Your home office isn’t an exception just because it’s in your home. You’re likely now eating, comforting the kids and petting the dog and cat where you work. The desk in your home can easily host more than millions of bacteria. You’re not exposed to the same level of germs as office workers sharing crowded elevators, equipment, or public bathrooms.
However, since dirty surfaces cause a number of illnesses, keeping your desk, keyboard, mouse, and other home-office surfaces clean is a crucial part of maintaining your health. Remember to wash your hands frequently and keep a small pack of disinfecting wipes handy to reduce the level of bacteria on your desk, phone, keyboard, mouse, pens and anything else you are regularly coming into contact with during the day.
Less Visual Distractions
Many at-home workers say they prefer working from home due to less distractions: Impromptu meetings, ringing phones, and casual co-worker conversations have been reduced. However, your home office can have its own set of distractions, from kids to pets, from the doorbell to personal calls. Luckily, one of the less obvious distractions is also one of the most straightforward to fix—clutter.
While having decorative objects and hobby projects placed around your living space can be comforting, having too many in your work area can negatively impact your focus. Your attention can be easily sidetracked, or you won’t be able to find an item you need. Especially if your household is supporting two home-based workers, try to remove clutter. Put the extra photos, art supplies, instruments, books, etc. out of view, or in another room. Take a good look at what is near your desk in eye range on a weekly basis. Move items that don’t serve you during your working time away from your work space.
Create a Distinct Workspace
You can take it a step further, as your environment plays a key role in shaping your state of mind and your ability to maintain focus. Separating your workspace from your living, cooking, playing and sleeping spaces will help your brain associate the time you spend on your work with intense concentration and high-level productivity. We understand that not everyone has enough room in their home to dedicate an entire room to their office.
Thankfully, there are options that can work just as well. For example, if you have one large room, you can section off an area using bookshelves, folding screens, or even by hanging fabrics to create a distinct space. Giving yourself a defined workspace, will create a healthy separation between your work and home life.
Despite all of the benefits working from home can offer, you may still be craving a break from these routines. When you’d rather leave the cleaning to someone else, Windsor Home Cleaning can provide you with a custom cleaning plan that includes your home office space. We’re here to assist so that you’re both happier and more productive at home.