If you’ve been so busy working in your home office that you can’t remember the last time you updated or organized, it’s time to let spring cleaning fever take over. We channeled our inner Marie Kondo to bring you these tips for streamlining systems and getting your home office in its best shape ever.
Let’s start with the basics – cleaning and organizing your workspace.
Clean Your Screens: Use monitor wipes to clean your screens. Turn the keyboard upside down and shake gently to get the crumbs and dust bunnies out. Then use a keyboard cleaner to blow what remains from between the keys or gently clean them with cotton swabs. While you’re at it, clean the gunk off your mouse and tablet too.
Declutter Your Desk: You work desk is for work – not gizmos. Take everything off the top of your desk, dust and clean it, then put only the equipment and items you need for work. You can add one or two personal things such as a plant, flowers, or 1 framed photo. But keep the clutter down and the distractions off your desk.
Control the Cords: It’s time to finally round up all those cords and wires running amok and get them under control. Check your local office supply store for cord tags, labels, clips, cable boxes, zip-ties, and other solutions. Check out Pinterest to see what other home office organizing aficionados have done and to find great ideas.
Now let’s move to the online world, a place just as worthy of organization and streamlining.
Upgrade Your Internet: In today’s working world, no matter what you do, high-speed internet is absolutely essential. If you’ve been using the same provider for years, it’s time to take a look at your options to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Choose a local internet provider that offers secure, reliable, and high-speed internet. Even if you live in a rural community, advancing technology has made it possible for people in remote locations to enjoy the same high-speed connectivity as their urban neighbors. That means you can upload videos, participate in conference calls, lead a webinar and hold a Facebook chat, no matter where you’re located.
Here are some great tips to help with this task: How to Pick the Right Internet Service for You
Go Paperless: If you decide it’s time to start moving toward a paperless office, be sure to check out this article, “Using the Internet to Reduce Paper Waste,” filled with tips for reducing paper waste. In addition to the tips you see there, look at the magazines and newspapers you use for work and see if you can replace them with digital subscriptions on your tablet or phone.
Security: Invest in antivirus software. If you already have it, make sure it’s updated and running.
While you’re dusting and organizing your cords, have your protection system do a deep scan of your computer to make sure all is shipshape.
Verify Your Backup Systems: You are backing up your data, right? If there’s only one action you take after reading this article, set up a backup system for your work computer. There are easy and inexpensive cloud-based solutions you can use like Carbonite or Backblaze, or you can use an external hard drive plugged into your computer. For both, be sure they are set to automatically back up regularly. And every few months check the files to make sure everything you need is being backed up.
Spring Clean Your Apps: Look at the apps you’ve downloaded on your phone and tablet. There are probably ones you don’t use anymore and can be removed. Rearrange how the apps are displayed so they can be found quickly and easily.
Know a Nerd: Having a techie team on speed dial for all those things that are out of your comfort zone is another great way to streamline your office systems. IT support is just as important in a home office, but you probably won’t have access to the same support as a corporate environment. Before you turn to your local geek squad, check with your internet service provider. For instance, our support team here at Softcom offers many of the services a home office or small business needs.