How and why you should keep your desk tidy while WFH

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Only 30% of the UK workforce experienced working from home in 2019. Yet mid-way through 2020, far greater numbers are doing so in an effort to curb the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak. It’s not an easy transition for everyone – but if you can get it right, you could become more efficient than ever before…

Creating the right work environment is essential in working from home successfully. Sitting on the sofa may seem appealing at first – but your boss might disagree. Leaving equipment and documents strewn across the kitchen table meanwhile is unlikely to make you popular with other members of your household.

Below we look into what your workspace says about you, the benefits of keeping it tidy while working from home, and how to do just that.

What your desk says about your personality

You may have looked at your colleagues’ setups without ever giving them much thought. But the way you maintain your desk can say a lot about your personality and working style.

A minimalist workspace – with little to no items beyond the absolutely necessary – can represent someone who is highly efficient and self-disciplined. Yet some believe it can also be a sign of secrecy or a lack of imagination.

Chaotic desks on the other hand can suggest disorganisation, poor time management and even an inability to delegate – or a creative individual bursting with ideas.

Work areas crammed with personal mementos often belong to settled, integral members of the team.

The benefits of maintaining a tidy desk

While there’s no need to go overboard, keeping your space relatively clean and organised can have several positive impacts on your day.

Increased productivity and reduced stress are two of the most important. With less mess to get lost in, you’ll be able to find things easily when you need them and keep your mind focused on the task in hand. As you glide through your working day with increased efficiency, you could feel your work-based worries subsiding.

Another perhaps timelier benefit is hygiene. Keeping your desk clear of crumbs, spillages and so on can provide peace of mind by minimising bacteria.

How to do it

Start by creating dedicated areas for notepads, flyers and other important documents. Collect your stationery in pen pots and try to keep visible cables to a minimum. Once everything has a dedicated place, it’ll be easier to keep things that way.

Once you get to work, try to only keep visible what you need at the time. File paperwork away once you’re finished with it, for example.

Finally, scheduling regular tidy-ups – either at the end of the day or once a week – will help you stay on top of things.

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