With Covid-19 impacting us all, working from home is becoming the norm for many. There are a few things to consider when setting a sustainable working environment.
In the early 1990’s I was offered the opportunity to work from home, slightly after the “brick” mobile phone and in the middle of dial up internet, the offer to work from home sounded wonderful. With the installation of a second phone line and a phone, fax machine purchased I was on my way.
Gone was the weekly commute of 1000km, it now was a quick stroll to the office, and I soon realised I loved it and my productivity went through the roof. To ensure I did not lose this working arrangement, I set myself some strict, sustainable guidelines, which I still follow in my own business today.
It’s too easy to slob around all day in your PJ’s, the big problem being, nothing is achieved. Having realised I loved working from home, I approached the office door with the same attitude as if I was getting in my car and driving to the office or going out to see clients.
To maintain a professional approach, it is critical to leave the PJ’s in the bedroom.
Structure your day
Working on your own can be challenging, unless there is a structure to base you day around. The work day can become endless cups of tea and precious time spent decluttering the linen cupboard. By utilising digital planners or diaries, structure your day as you would in your normal office environment.
Take note on how long it takes to complete your tasks, you may be surprised at the results.
Stay motivated and connected
Without structure and purpose, sudden isolation can lead to time wasting activities which reduce productivity. It’s well-known that staying active helps ward off depression and stimulate creativity.
Consider connecting with a neighbour, family member or housemate for a social distancing walk.
Prepare for the unforeseen
With more and more people relying on the internet to home school, stay connected, watch TV and work from home, the strain on the NBN may become apparent. Discussing and planning for unforeseen outages of internet and power with clients or remote team members may help to alleviate the strain of any possible inconveniences you may experience during times of lockdown or self isolation.
Take it seriously
Covid-19 is serious, we will see many people not just their livelihood but also lose their lives. Given the opportunity to work from home should be consider a lifeline. Saying no to that morning tea around the table with freshly baked goodies is tempting but will reduce productivity, checking social media every 5 minutes won’t change the crisis and it won’t help you meet that deadline.
Working from home can put a squeeze on the space you have, the office may be a corner of the dining room rather than an open plan office, so it’s important to utilise the space you have available. We cannot stretch our four walls to accommodate our stuff, so we have to rethink the space we have.
There is no room for excess stuff, it’s time to rethink how you use flat and vertical surfaces.
- Add hooks and lift frequently used items up and off your horizontal surfaces
- Remove anything that is not relevant and return to their correct home.
- Look for stackable storage to utilise your vertical space, look for light weight transportable storage making it easy to pack away at the end of your day
- Check out recycled and repurposed storage before buying new
- Look for storage that is easy to use, if it is difficult you will not use it, only adding to the clutter
How many stress balls do you really need?
How many pens do you really need, generally, one that works is great unless you work as an artist?
Remove anything that is no longer relevant to your office space, example: kid’s toys, old papers, post it notes, kid’s projects, to do lists, anything that is broken and cannot be repaired or recycled.
In this time of Covid-19 it is important to note donating to a charity is not an option, set things aside and donate when restrictions have been lifted
For more responsible disposal options check out our responsible disposal and recycling tips
At the end of each day clear your desk of clutter and return items including digital files to their correct home.
Did you know thermo printed receipts cannot be recycled, they must be place them in the landfill bin.
Keep it clean
Grab your cleaning products and start cleaning the desk, don’t forget the phone, computer, coffee cup, flat and vertical surfaces. Don’t be surprised how much food falls out of keyboards.
Now that your desk is clear of clutter and clean, the trick is only return items you truly need and want. Be realistic when it comes to the “wants” we might want a lot of things, but if they take up valuable space and get in the way of doing your job, they are CLUTTER.
Create the office space of your dreams
It’s your opportunity to put your designer hat on and add touches of your personality. Add things that inspire and motivate you to walk into your office and start your day.
Recycle From Home
When it comes time to updating or replace office equipment, there are many options to responsibly dispose of e waste and office supplies
Mobile Muster The official recycling program of the Australian Mobile Phone Industry.
TerraCycle Whether it’s coffee capsules from your home, pens or plastic gloves from a manufacturing facility, TerraCycle recycle almost any form of waste.
For more tips to reduce, reuse and recycle waste visit Eco Organiser®