Updated: Sep 27, 2022
Are you working from home? Good for you. Countless numbers of workers have discovered the joy of having a home office. However, it's essential to maintain that work atmosphere at home, especially if your office is your dining room table or similar space. To make your home office work effectively, tidy it up.
Virtual backgrounds are an essential quality of life improvement for professionals in all fields, primarily if you work from home. A branded background can make your home office work feel more integrated with your company's mission.
Virtual backgrounds can also cover less professional facets of a home office, such as clutter and home items. However, keeping a clean and organized workspace provides real benefits even when using a virtual background in meetings. Here are some of those benefits, plus tips for creating a professional environment at home.
1. Fewer Distractions
A branded background is a great way to keep your audience from getting distracted in meetings and presentations. Unfortunately, it doesn't work as well for you. Shopping lists or children's toys in a home office can draw your focus in different directions and prevent you from focusing on tasks.
2. Improved Health
A clean workspace contributes to both your physical and mental well-being. Food, in particular, can quickly become a health hazard.
Try to keep meals out of your workspace to improve home office cleanliness. Taking your lunch break in a kitchen keeps potential contaminants off your desk and allows you to stretch your legs during the workday.
3. Increased Productivity
It's natural to allow your home office to accumulate clutter if you're using a virtual background, but cleaning your space is an easy and quick way to increase productivity when working from home.
Some professionals can manage to be productive even with a messy desk, but there are benefits to taking time to clean. You may not realize how much of your day you spend struggling against clutter in your office. In addition, a five-minute mental break for every twenty-five minutes of work gives your mind time to rest and reset. This can help you better handle challenging tasks.
4. Get Organized
If you're searching for how to make your office more productive, consider investing in color-coded files and bins. Having allotted spaces for important documents has benefits beyond simply making them easier to find.
A well-organized office can tell you at a glance where to focus your efforts. It can also give a visual representation of the current responsibilities of your role.
Of course, there's no point in a complicated organizational system if it doesn't fit your needs well enough for you to want to use it. Work with your natural tendencies to design a customized approach. For example, if you often pile documents on one corner of your desk, that's where to place your new filing system.
5. Have Dedicated Work Space
One of the most helpful home office strategies is to create a strong line of demarcation between your workspace and home space, even if your home office is simply a desk against a wall. Don't allow home trappings to cross the invisible boundary into your work zone, and you'll be more likely to stay on task.
If any items cross the boundary, resist the temptation to bring each item back to its proper place one at a time. Instead, keep a hamper marked 'home items' at the boundary of your office space. Return all of these items at once to avoid interrupting your workflow.
6. Look More Professional
A virtual background is helpful, but it's not a complete solution if your underlying home office is unprofessional. One of the challenges in working from home is that others you live with may not respect your work hours.
If your office is in the same state and style as the rest of your home, others may feel free to chat or ask you to do minor chores — distractions you'd never encounter at an office.
To combat this tendency, you can make your home office look as professional as possible. Family members may think twice about pestering you if your desk looks nothing like the rest of the home. If that doesn't work, you can always hang a dedicated sign or pop on some headphones.
7. You'll Be Happier
It's psychologically proven that clean spaces contribute to a more calm and positive state of mind. Minor frustrations like misplacing a document or getting a sleeve in a spill have a snowball effect that can darken your day-to-day mood.
A clean home office can also accommodate more fun touches than a messy one. Reward yourself for cleanliness weekly with a fun desk accessory to boost morale when working from home.
8. Reduce Injury
A messy home office can, in some cases, lead to injuries. Bending to retrieve fallen items multiple times daily can result in a slipped disc. You may also trip over toys or other household items on a home office floor.
9. Keep Records Straight
A single misplaced document in a cluttered home office can derail an entire day. Not only do you risk falling behind, but searching for a piece of paper entails a lot of unnecessary frustration. You're also more likely to mix up similar documents without a dedicated system.
Consider a secure high-speed scanner for your desk if your work involves many paper documents. This can help you organize virtually and avoid losing documents.
10. Prevent Embarrassment
Home offices are an essential part of the future of work, but they are more prone to clutter and mess than most offices. Some of these messes and complications can be embarrassing, even if you have a virtual background to cover up your office on calls.
No one wants to inform their boss that their pet destroyed a critical file or that last month's reports were thrown away by a well-meaning spouse. Keeping your home office clean protects it from the hazards of working at home.
If your home office has seen better days, giving yourself some slack and making small, manageable improvements is essential. A minor investment of time cleaning and organizing your workspace will pay off in productivity and general peace of mind.
Virtual office backgrounds can give a professional look to your home office. For branded backgrounds across platforms and more home office tips, turn to Zoom Virtual Office.