Over the last year, since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the workplace has seen a dramatic shift. More people are working from home than ever before; in fact, some 39 million Americans are expected to work remotely in some capacity in 2021 – roughly 25% of the nation’s workforce (flexjobs.com). Given this shift, it is important to optimize your home office space to stay productive.
Working from home can be easy for some, while presenting a myriad of challenges for others. Some people simply do not have the luxury of a dedicated home office and are instead relegated to a small workspace setup in their bedroom or even at the kitchen table. While not everyone has the same space and amenities to work with, there are many tools out there that can be used to promote a baseline standard of organization and efficiency when working remotely.
Personal & Workspace Organization
Perhaps the most important thing anyone can do in an effort to organize their work life is write. things. down. Mapping out your tasks and goals in a planner or calendar can serve as an excellent starting point on the path to greater organization. Wherever work physically takes you, you can rest assured that you at least have a planner on hand to help you stay on top of your tasks. If you do have a dedicated desk or workspace, there are plenty of low-cost options for organizing that space. The space that you use the most should also be the best-organized and most visually appealing. Be it a desktop supply organizer, file sorter, or even a drawer organizer, there is no shortage of tools to help you “deck out” your desk and make important items more quickly and easily accessible.
Sorting & Filing
The next step up from an organized desk is a dedicated space for filing paperwork. After all, not every desk is equipped with a file drawer – much less the smaller, simpler desks that some are likely to have in their homes. Before filing anything away, you should ensure that it is properly labeled and sorted so that you can easily find things when digging into the archives. W.B. Mason’s extensive collection of labeling tools and general filing solutions is a great place to start!
When deciding where your files will ultimately live, the two most popular options are file storage boxes and more conventional file cabinets. While the latter presents a more durable and long-lasting solution, file cabinets are often heavier and more cumbersome to move. In contrast, portable products from Bankers Box® and other top office supply brands offer much more versatility. And if you don’t care for either of the above methods, a more traditional bookcase or shelf where you can store your files is an equally viable option. Should you decide to go this route, you would be best served to also seek out binders with the appropriate index dividers.
When it comes to personal or otherwise confidential documents that you no longer need or want to hold on to, best practice is to destroy these documents as opposed to just putting them in the recycling. According to timeshred.com, “The U.S. Supreme Court decision in California vs. Greenwood found that there is no expectation of privacy in trash that is left for collection in an area accessible to the public”. Simply put, any document you put in the regular garbage or recycling is effectively available to anyone who wants to look through it. While the type of document and its contents ultimately dictate whether it needs to be destroyed, it is best to err on the side of caution and destroy the document. Destroying documents with any sort of identifying information can significantly reduce the likelihood of your falling victim to identity theft.
Beyond being a safe way to destroy important documents, shredding also reduces unnecessary clutter in an around your workspace. W.B. Mason offers a wide variety of shredders and accessories for personal and commercial use, along with a breadth of other products and solutions to improve your work life.
The remote working landscape is a new and at times challenging one for all of us. While not everyone has the same space and amenities to work with, there are many tools out there that most everyone can use to promote a baseline standard of organization and efficiency when working remotely. We encourage you to check out the wealth of products and resources available on our website, and additional insights and best practices from The W.B. Delivery.
To the new normal and beyond – W.B. Mason delivers.
1. Courtney, Emily. “Remote Work Statistics: Navigating the New Normal (2021): FlexJobs.” FlexJobs Job Search Tips and Blog, FlexJobs.com, 22 Jan. 2021, https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/remote-work-statistics/. Accessed 29 January 2021.
2. “What Needs Shredding: 40 Documents You Must Shred: Time Shred.” Time Shred Services Inc., 23 Mar. 2020, https://www.timeshred.com/about-us/what-to-shred/. Accessed 29 January 2021.