How to Organize a Productive Office
Deal with the Paper
It might seem like paper is less of an issue in today’s computerized world, but it has not disappeared. Unorganized paper lying around the office adds clutter and inefficiency. The tools necessary to deal with this problem also take up the most space. Filing cabinets, shredders and printers are bulky.
Construct the office around the larger, necessary components. Put filing systems in centrally located areas that are out of the way, but convenient. Consider a system that makes the job easier like revolving shelves.
Each workstation should have a specific area for unprocessed paper. An in and out box or a sorter system makes sense on most desks. Encourage staff to spend five minutes each day sorting through paper to avoid pack rat syndrome. Offer shredders and garbage containers close by to dispose of waste.
Organization is a priority in every office – everything should have a place. Supplies go into drawers; incoming work goes in one slot, outgoing in another – use office tools to help promote organization even when it doesn’t come naturally. If an employee opens a desk drawer and sees an organizer for paper clips, pens and other necessities, putting things away will become a habit.
Create zones for different office functions. An organized office has an area for filing, one for customer interactions and another for employee breaks. The desk has one spot for unprocessed work and another for items headed for the filing cabinet. Zones foster organization and lead to a more productive staff.
A clean office garners more respect from both employees and consumers. Small offices that don’t hire a cleaning staff should set aside time each week to clean. Even with a regular service, keep supplies on hand for as-you-go cleaning – wet wipes for desktops, for example. The right supplies will remind everyone that keeping the office clean is a priority.
There is also a financial gain to keeping the environment hygienic. Encouraging staff to wash their hands regularly by providing the necessary tools cuts back on sick time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports proper hand washing is part of the plan to stop the spread of the flu each year. Fewer employees out sick will reduce expenses and leads to a fully functioning office.
Office management requires more than just putting out the occasional fire. Providing the right tools promotes efficient workflow; keeps the staff productive and leads them to a successful work environment.