A tidy desk may or may not suggest a tidy mind, but a tidy office is usually a sign of an efficient company. This is, of course, good news for productivity, but it also indicates that employees are unlikely to suffer from workplace stress and anxiety.
Creating a place for everything and keeping everything in its place (except when it is being used), benefits everyone in the office, plus it looks good to external parties (a.k.a., those new clients you want to impress).
Here are some tips on how to make it happen.
1. Decide what needs to be individual vs. communal
On the one hand, you want people to have convenient access to the tools they need to do their job. On the other hand, the more things you have in your office, the more of a challenge it will be to find a space to store them. It’s therefore important to find a balance between having enough and having too much of a good thing. This principle can be applied to office decor, furniture, supplies, paperwork, etc.
2. Clear out the paperwork
In old films, the classic indicator of a busy office was a row of desks covered in towers of paper. Today, the business world benefits from a paperless office approach.
Thankfully the digital age has largely reduced the amount of paper we consume. However, it still seems to have an extraordinary ability to take up an excessive amount of office space. Even if you follow regular de-cluttering and green practices by digitizing as much paperwork as possible, there is still a definite possibility you will end up with more than you expect (or want).
The key is to decide which papers are simply kept for archive purposes (e.g., tax and legal documents) and which are useful. Take the former offsite, so they’re out of sight but still in mind. Then, organize the remaining paperwork conveniently. Binders are a handy way to protect documents which are viewed regularly but not necessarily updated. Suspension files provide convenient access to documents which have an actionable element.
3. Consider rearranging your office space
In modern offices, it can be very easy to sleepwalk into a situation in which rooms are organized according to the convenience of the IT department. To be fair, this is a reasonable consideration. Cables not only have to go somewhere, but they also have to be routed safely, so nobody trips over them.
At the same time, there is often a bit of flexibility here, and it can be worth a redesign if the current office layout is cumbersome for the people working in it. For example, perhaps the IT department has set up the room so that there are two long lines of desks facing each other.
As a result, people in certain seats have to make long treks around the office to complete certain tasks. A way to solve this could be to split the desks into two groups, to create a passageway in between them. You might even use part of this passageway for shared storage and/or organization for greater efficiency and more convenience.
Joe Muddiman is the General Manager at Rads Document Storage, a secure facility based in Nottingham which provides professional document management services.
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