Clutter…a word that can strike fear into the minds of the average office worker and could be costing your business a lot more than you think.
Many of us have been conditioned to believe that a busy office is an effective office. The kind of place where you can touch and feel the whirlwind of hustle and bustle energising the room, papers flying seamlessly from one desk to another for signatures and employees breaking into half-sprints around desks in an attempt to beat those ever tightening deadlines. Cinematically, this is an appealing way to represent a productive office, but the truth is that a clear and organised office space is far more likely to lead to an increase in efficiency and consequently a more productive workforce.
You may already be among the thousands of offices that already complete a semi-regular ‘office purge’ where piles of paper are moved around the office and the contents of desks are unabashedly swiped into the nearest waste bin, however, as most of you will know, this level of de-cluttering only lasts a few weeks before the chaos returns.
Organising your office space needn’t take days and become a major distraction, in fact it can be done in small bite-size chunks that are much easier for your team to adopt, growing into routines and habits that are likely to last a lifetime.
If you’re ready to get started, here are our top 5 tips to transform your office into an efficient workspace.
1) Use wall space to your advantage
The walls of our offices are often highly underutilised areas as we clamber for ever more complicated and elaborate storage solutions that eat into our floor designs. By using wall space to create stylish and effective storage designs, we can begin to create a more harmonious and structured office space that allows our desk spaces to remain uncluttered and free of distractions.
2) Hide the Wires
The modern office has allowed us many luxuries that our pre-technological descendants could have only dreamed about, but there has been a downside. With the increased volume of technology and machinery that made our business processes faster and more effective, there has been an explosion of wires, cables and plugs that intertwine, tangle and clutter our office lives. Finding the perfect furniture positioning, utilising hidden wire channels and wireless technology as much as possible are all effective methods of limiting this distractions and creating a more open, de-cluttered workspace
3) Go as paperless as possible
Nothing conjures up stress quite like a pile of papers that denote half-finished assignments, semi-complete forms, and the inevitable impending missed deadlines. While it may still be a requirement for some documents to remain in paper form, the trend for paperless offices along with current technology support can drastically reduce the need for many paper documents cluttering up your office space. Saving time, increasing productivity and saving the environment (not to mention the savings in printer ink) is not a bad return on creating a paperless office.
4) Digital de-clutter
Clutter in the 21st century is not solely limited to our physical office spaces. As there has been a marked reduction in paper files, we have transferred this disorganisation to our digital lives instead. Overfilled desktops, chaotic filing systems and unorganised email inboxes can cause as much, if not more, stress on our lives as a messy office can produce. Using the same amount of diligence to your desktop as you would with your office office filing can pay significant dividends in the long run when it comes to increasing your productivity and decreasing the stress associated with losing items or struggling to navigate your way through the mess of digital files cluttering up your work day. Top tips include utilising email rules to automatically arrange your inbox, creating online work folders for “to be completed” tasks and regular archiving of seldom needed files
5) A place for everything and everything in its place
There is nothing more frustrating and time consuming that having to search for something high and low only to find it in the most unexpected and illogical place. A clear and universally understood system of where extensively used communal items go within the office can save everyone time, energy and stress throughout the working day. Ensure that you have clearly labelled your storage solutions and communicated it well with your team. The time you’ll save around the office may seem small at first but when you add up the compounding effect, this simple tip is a fantastic effectiveness boost for everyone and a great way to keep your office organised and effective.