Organise your office and reap the benefits of planning ahead

planning photo

30th November 2016

4 Minutes

Planning ahead is an essential part of business – setting goals and sticking to deadlines are the mark of a company’s efficiency and ability to satisfy customers and clients alike. A well-organised office tends to create a productive and efficient working environment, which can be beneficial when it comes to delivering on work plans. However, the process of turning your space into a finely tuned, organised, timesaving machine may seem a daunting task.

Whether you’re starting your business from scratch or taking on a role at the top, you’ll achieve greater success if you ‘stick to the script’ in an office that works as a well-oiled machine.

Here’s our top five tips for getting your office organised and tips on effective planning.

Everything can be stored away

Rather than have all your employees’ pens and pencils scattered across their desks, invest in some desk tidies so they can neatly store their necessary equipment away. Using filing cabinets for any important documents, or coloured boxes can be an effective way to both store items away and distinguish what is kept where.

Wipe the tasks off your plan

One of the biggest issues of time management and organisation within the workplace can be not being fully aware of how much work you have to do, and any impending deadlines. You might have it flagged in your email inbox, but to truly understand your workload you need a visual representation.

Bring in mini whiteboards for your employees’ desks, so they can map out their day, then once the task is completed, they can simply wipe it away. That way, they’ll have a clear idea of the work they need to do, and create an organised plan – a simple hack, yet an effective tip to save time.

Two-for-one where you can

Having stationery or office equipment that can be used multi-functionally is a top admin tip, as it means you won’t have as much stuff lying around. If you need to use a range of colours when taking notes or filling in forms, don’t mess around with an ungodly amount of pens – invest in a four-in-one coloured model. The same can be said with choosing the right printer – having a machine that can print, scan and photocopy makes much more sense than using three separate devices, and will act as a time saver in the long run.

Mapping success

When it comes to planning, think of your company plan as a map between Point A and Point B. In order to get to the place you want your company to be in five or 10 years’ time, you need to deliberately schedule where and when you’ll hopefully arrive.

Whether you’re starting up your own venture or are recruiting a larger workforce, you won’t be the only one who needs to see this map. Prospective employees will want to know where you see the company going to determine whether or not they want to chance their careers on your ambitions, while investors and stockholders also need an idea of your expectations so they can decide whether to stake their money. You might want to consider printing out your company objectives or mission statement and place them around the office for all to see.

While your business plan acts as the map, the choices you make along the way will affect your route-finding GPS. When operations are up and running, it’s your job to adjust your plan accordingly so that you don’t stray too far from your destination. Take things into account like deadlines, resources and employee feedback and keep a record of them so that you have the best chance of successfully reaching Point B.

Best laid plans

For all your scheduling there can always be a bump in the road that it’s in your best interest to pass over smoothly. Whether it’s a shortage of vital equipment and resources, a sudden downturn in productivity or even a labour dispute, these problems can often make for a more uncomfortable journey.

These unforeseen circumstances are bound to affect your plan, but there are always things you can learn from such situations. In any event, leave some ‘wiggle room’ in the plan for problems and crises, and be open to feedback from key stakeholders so that you can adjust plans where necessary. Of course, communication is also key in these circumstances. An article in Forbes also recommends running small tests of potential disruptions to ensure that you’re prepared for any eventuality, which can also be incorporated into your business plan.

When you’re getting stuck in to the day-to-day operations of a business it may feel like you’re straying from the route you had planned. But having your business plan as your guide will help show you the importance of efficiently and effectively meeting your targets, leading to workforce satisfaction that everyone’s pulling towards the same goal.

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