Where you work and how it is set up plays a massive part in how your business works – trust us.
A messy, cluttered office slows you down and makes you less productive while a coordinated, streamlined office can help you to become a better and more efficient employee.
Feel like you don’t have any time to organise your office? We both know that’s not true.
The Five Minute Rule
Don’t think that organising your office is a one-time task. It’s an ongoing and sometimes boring task but it’s not too bad if you keep on top of it. Try and ease yourself into it – start by dedicating at least 5 minutes of your day to keeping your office organised. This is best done at the start of the day when you can clear your desk and get yourself mentally prepared for the day ahead. Putting it off will result in things piling up, and if you’re not careful, you’ll once again be left with a disorganised space. Disorganised space means disorganised business.
Put in just a few minutes every day and you’ll get a lot back – everything will be stay neat and coordinated, and you’ll be more efficient as a result.
Organise Your Office Supplies
It’s important to ensure that every office supply you use is properly organised and easy to access when you need it. First and foremost, this means not keeping everything on your desk. Sure, you may have spent a little extra to have that super cute matching stapler and hole puncher, but you shouldn’t keep them out on display – it just adds clutter.
Keep your office supplies in an organised, easy-to-reach space like a desk drawer. Use organising trays to keep small items like paperclips organised. Office supplies that are frequently used together should be close to each other – notepads should be near the pens, extra staples should be near the stapler, and so on. Having a well-thought-out system in place will make your life easier and save you a lot of time.
Organise Your Desktop
Now that you’ve sorted out your office supplies and removed unnecessary clutter from your desk, you still need to make sure what’s left on it is properly organised. Get some trays to keep your important documents within easy reach (remember – only papers you’ll need soon or regularly should be out on your desk, the rest should be filed away somewhere else) and use stationary organisers to keep all your pens and pencils in a single, handy place.
It’s also a good idea to try and keep the wires from your computer as neat and out of sight as possible. If you ever have to fix a problem with your computer, you’ll thank yourself for keeping everything organised – tangled cables are a nightmare and waste a lot of time.
Organise Your Computer
Now that your desk and office supplies are nicely organised, the same should apply to the data on your computer. Always have a clear and meaningful folder structure and name files sensibly – it should be easy to understand what a folder or file contains just by looking at the name (for example, a folder called “Stuff”, or files called “file1”, “file2” etc. are next to useless). You’ll thank yourself in the future when you have to go searching for a file, and it will save you a lot of time.
This is especially important if your business stores files on a shared network where other people will be searching for or using your files. If they can’t find your file because it’s named poorly or in the wrong folder it will waste a lot of their time – so they won’t be happy with you.
If there’s one way to ensure your office is fully coordinated, it’s by making sure everyone can communicate with each other effectively. Having regular contact with members of your team will help keep everyone on track and up to date with each other’s progress. If you have a problem or question for a colleague, don’t wait and cause delays – discuss it with them as soon as possible.
It’s vital you have a reliable method for communicating, whether you talk on the phone, by email, or simply face to face. Instant messaging services like Slack are being used more and more by businesses, as they are a nice alternative to email and enable rapid communication between your colleagues, no matter where they are.
Spread The Word
Now you’ve worked hard to tidy up your desk and get everything neatly organised, it’s time to encourage others to do the same. They probably won’t be very keen to get started – especially if they are particularly unorganised – but you can explain the benefits and tell them how to start off slowly with the five-minute rule. Hopefully, you’ll get them hooked and soon enough their office supplies, desk and computer will be just as neat and tidy as yours. You can also work with your team to improve their communication. Once you get the whole office to follow these principles, everyone will become much more productive, and you’ll notice your team become fully coordinated.
If you know any other principles for a coordinated office, please let us know in the comments.