Two key ingredients for success in any business are organisation and productivity. Whatever your business specialises in, it risks falling into cluttered and unfocused chaos if you do not stay organised – especially if you have a large workforce.
It’s often said that an organised and de-cluttered workspace will result in a clearer mind and thus more productivity.
Our tips to ensure your office is as productive a space as it can be
Get good storage
Staying organised has its benefits – if you know where to find what you’re looking for, you won’t lose time rooting around in the back cupboards looking for it. Those lost few minutes can really add up over the course of a week, but what’s worse is the time lost in the mental confusion and stress both before and after.
A study at Michigan State University in the US found that a distraction lasting only 4.4 seconds could lead to as much as trebling the rate of error once we get back to work – so knowing where to find your documentation as and when you need, it has its benefits.
Storage boxes are a great way to neatly archive bulky folders or books, while filing cabinets provide a handy method of storage for any documents you need regular access to.
Find an efficient way to file
Having access to good storage is important but you’ll need to establish a system of managing data. This is so that you can properly hold on to important documents such as contracts and tax forms. You also need to ensure that the more sensitive stuff is properly handled.
Organise desk space
Cluttered and unorganised desks can lead to reduced productivity and leave you feeling drained before you’ve even begun your day. Don’t let papers and files pile up on desk, as this will only lead to more stress.
Desk tidies keep everything neat and organised. Letter trays, penholders and magazine files can also be used throughout the office to contain loose items and promote a sense of organised space.
When it comes to your personal desk, don’t fill all your drawers with pens and rubber bands, or mix your envelopes with your stapler. Having specific drawers or desk organisers for all your stationery will not only allow you to monitor your stock levels, but also effectively maximise the space you have to work with. Make sure you create some space for your personal belongings too, be it a photo of your family or your morning cereal.
Go paperless where possible
The days of filing cabinets are slowly passing us by as we move into the digital age, with the computer now being a vital aspect of keeping organised. There is no longer a need for heavy paper filing, as you can save all your files and sheets easily into your PC or laptop’s document folders.
WRAP.org suggests a green office employee should only use seven reams of paper per year. Their current estimated rate of 45 sheets per employee per day is not nearly ecologically sound enough.
With so many sheets of paper being used daily, it’s suggested half of these are needless and usually quickly thrown away. The other half gets filed away – but as the available space for storing these documents grows ever smaller, it can lead to some pretty cramped conditions in storage rooms.
The move to a paperless office isn’t something that can happen overnight – there are still too many vital documents to be kept and too much information to be properly input onto computers. By organising certain aspects of data entry and storage, you may find that eventually you’re reducing the amount of storage you need to make available on a consistent basis, which also helps to reduce waste.
Tackle one task at a time
You may think multi-tasking will help you save time and work better but you actually become 40% less productive. Keeping your mind set on one task at a time will eliminate clutter from your desk, as you’ll only have the relevant documents out at one given time. Once the task is completed, you can tidy all your files away and get started on the next one.
Use the right kit
A clean and tidy office is an organised one. The following products will help you keep a tidy, organised office throughout the year:
- Disinfectants and all-purpose cleaners. These will reduce the presence and spread of germs in the office by cleaning and disinfecting worktops and desktops, and hopefully reduce sick days, boosting productivity.
- Microfibre cloths. Rather than releasing dust into the air when wiped, microfibre cloths trap dirt and dust – meaning you can be just as effective with less cleaning fluid.
- All-in-one printers. The scanning function of an all-in-one printer allows you to scan important documents and store them on either computers or the cloud, meaning you can use a shredder to safely discard confidential information and reduce the paper pile up.
- Plastic storage boxes. Extremely useful when it comes to keeping your supplies together in one place, available in many different sizes depending on what you’d like to store.
- Label maker. Save time unpacking storage boxes by labelling files and storage boxes so you know immediately what they contain. Use different coloured labels for different categories.
Training and disciplining yourself into keeping your workspace well organised will inevitably make your time and space more efficient moving forward. Not only that, you’ll reap the benefits of working at a clean and tidy desk.