Did you know that research has shown clutter can seriously impact that business’ productivity in the workplace? A decrease in productivity means a decrease in profits, so it’s an issue you should not ignore. Smaller businesses, operating from smaller spaces, are most affected but clutter can creep in anywhere.
Fortunately, once you are paying attention to the state of your office’s organization it’s not a difficult problem to fix. Here are some tips for getting started on the road to a more organized office.
Remove Physical Files
Digitize as many documents as possible to get rid of physical files that take up too much space. You can store receipts, invoices and other crucial documentation in digital form and back them up regularly to protect against disaster. As that’s something that you can’t do with physical copies it will make your office more organized and your record keeping more efficient.
You should print any documents that do require physical copies double-sided wherever possible. This saves on the physical file size but also minimizes the amount of paper you need to buy and helps the environment too!
Too many offices are stuffed with things that should have been disposed of years ago, but are being kept around ‘just in case’. Go through your supplies and weed out things you don’t need – old telephones, spent printer cartridges etc. – and get rid of them for good, recycling responsibly where possible.
You might be the big boss but you don’t need a jumbo-sized desk. Swap out oversized work stations for minimalist work spaces that provide just the right amount of space required for the tasks performed there.
Creative Storage Ideas
Use vertical space for storage. Multiple shelves can attach to the studs in the wall, or pockets where frequently used files can be stored are a great way to save space and declutter the offices of a small business.
There are lots of ‘hidden storage’ ideas you may be able to make use of too, such as the dead space behind doors and under desks.
Declutter Your Cables
Always tie and label your cables so they are out of the way and also so you can identify which cable leads into which machine when you need to. Use sharpies to label them, with a silver color working best on black cables and a black marker on white or grey cables.
Sort Mail Quickly
Set a specific time aside to deal with all the mail, including recycling junk mail and used envelopes. This should be a daily exercise if your business receives a lot of mail.
Encourage your employees to keep their desks as clear as possible as a cluttered desk can contribute to increased stress levels. If certain papers are absolutely necessary to keep physical copies of nearby at all times, then consider a pin board or wall pocket where they can be stored off desks.
Keep all other items to an absolute minimum. It’s a good idea to implement an end-of-day clutter clear-up routine for every desk so everyone is ready to go for the next day.
Reevaluate Item Usefulness
Re-evaluate the usefulness of every single workplace item. Do you really need five staplers? Is there one that doesn’t work so well and so just sits there never getting used? Apply this logic to literally everything in the workplace. Just ensure everything that is there has a purpose and is useful.
Give Everything a Home
Every useful item in the workplace should have a home so that whatever it is, it is always easy to find and monitor any necessary replacements and refills that might be required.
Keep On Top of Office Organization
Once you have organized your office, you need to keep it that way. Set aside time every month to have everyone, yourself included, spend time clearing out any clutter that has crept back, which it always does.