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Tuesday, September 04, 2018

7 Things to do to Reduce Waste in Your Home Office

Working from home doesn’t mean you’re exempted from the standard rules of office cleanliness. Having your own home office means that you are the only one in-charge of everything that happens in your workplace – including waste reduction and cleanliness. There are no managers to remind you about workplace cleanliness. There are no Human Resources people to implement rules. And there are definitely no housekeeping staff to clean the place up.

If you work from home, here are seven tips on how you can reduce waste and keep your home office neat and tidy.

Implement your own Clean Desk Policy
A staple for most multinational companies, a Clean Desk Policy not only ensures that your desk is organized, but also reduces waste in the process. Clutter like paper, food, or any other non-work related materials in your work area – all of which contribute to additional waste – are minimized.

While your own Clean Desk Policy looks and sounds easy to implement, the biggest challenge is following through. Unlike an office where there are managers and staff to remind you of the policy – for your home office, you’re on your own. Sticking to your own policy, therefore, is a matter of personal devotion.

Include cleaning as part of your daily routine

What comes hand-by-hand with follow through is commitment. And nothing shows commitment more than integrating an activity in your daily routine. Working from your own home office means that you are solely responsible for tidying it up – and you need to do it religiously.

In order to reduce waste, you need to include cleaning in your daily schedule. You’ll be quite surprised with the results once you have this practice in place. Subconsciously, the more you get used to cleaning your workstation and maintaining its tidiness, the less waste you generate. You can also hire a rubbish removal service to take care of your office waste.

Don’t eat at your desk!

One of the biggest temptations of working from home is to have working lunches/dinners at your desk. Having lunch or dinner while working is greatly discouraged. Even employee wellness programs at any office would recommend that staff to take their breaks away from their workstations.

The same goes for you too - but for more practical reasons. Avoiding eating at your desk reduces waste inside your home office. What’s more is that it keeps your workplace clean and pest-free. Rats, roaches, ants, and other pests can be quite a bother and can destroy your products and valuable equipment. You have the benefit of having a kitchen and dining area – use them.

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Reuse paper and ditch post-it notes 

One of the biggest contributors to environmental waste is paper from offices – and your home office is no exception. Of course, running a business will always involve some type of paperwork. However, it won’t hurt to reuse some paper that have already been used and are just lying around.

Another tip is to print back-to-back pages – especially for internal documents. Post-it notes also contribute to additional unneeded waste. What you can do instead is to have a planner and jot down your reminders there.

Buy refillable ink cartridges

Back in the day, printer companies highly discouraged the use of third-party ink tanks and refillable cartridges. It’s quite different nowadays; and these companies already embraced the practicality behind these. It does make a lot of sense though. There’s less hazardous waste, better environmental sustainability, and also less cost.

The same goes for your own office printer. If you’re thinking of buying a printer, purchase one that has refillable cartridges or an ink tank. If you already have a printer, you can check out online shopping websites and check for compatible cartridges and tanks. Aside from reducing office waste, you’ll also save on printing costs – and save the environment from hazardous waste while doing so.

Reuse shipping boxes 
Shipping boxes for items you’ve purchased can be recycled as package boxes for outgoing shipments. You’ll notice that this practice is common to most small businesses when sending items out to their customers. You can apply the same approach when it comes to your home business.

It is a good idea to save boxes and use them for packaging customer orders. You just make sure that you pack everything nicely and professionally. Moreover, you can also use them for storing and organizing your own products.

Digitalize everything
This is the most useful tip when it comes to reducing waste in your home office. Today’s technology has made everything more efficient and less wasteful. With online cloud storage, mobile scanner apps, email, and messenger apps, sending out and sharing documents have never been easier.

You can upload documents like manuals, contracts, and templates to a secure cloud service. You can purchase eBooks and audio books instead of paperbacks or hard-bounds. You can scan documents and share them with clients or virtual work teams through email, messenger, or file sharing services.

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While working from home gives you a lot more benefits as compared to working in a cubicle at an office, you’re not excused from ensuring that you reduce your waste. When it comes to saving the environment, everyone must do their part. And these seven tips in reducing waste, no matter how small, will make a great impact – not only for the planet, but also to your working environment as well.

Melanie Saunders is a blogger and content manager at 1300 Rubbish – experts in the field of rubbish and junk removal. Personally, a huge fan of sustainability and green living.

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