If the state of your personal workspace speaks volume about how organised you are as a person, imagine the impression that an entire office can give about your company.
Daily office mess, disorganised files, a canteen pin board that hasn’t been stripped since announcing the 2007 Christmas party – none of these things scream ‘professional’ and crucially, they breed a culture of clutter.
With this in mind, we take a look at the best things you can do both individually and as a team to spruce up your work surroundings. You never know, you might notice more than aesthetic results alone…
Tweaking the layout
Have you always had a nagging complaint about where certain things in your office live? Why are the filing cabinets at opposing ends of the room, and why is the water cooler jammed away in that awkward corner?
If any of this sounds familiar, now is the time to seize the day, although it’s always worth getting the consent of those it will affect as well. But don’t be shy; chances are they’ve been thinking the same thing as you for all those years.
De-cluttering the desk
One person’s bugbear is another’s home comfort, but a criminally cluttered desk certainly isn’t making your life as simple as possible. There is a school of thought that the only things you should have within reaching distance are the things you need immediately; your pen, your keyboard, your phone. Lead by example and rid your desk of visual clutter by hosting just the essential items; your monitor, notebook, one family photo – and keep the office supplies and personal items in a drawer or box under your desk. Remember, a tidy workspace equals a tidy mind.
Filing by status
As much as we like to think we’re all moving towards a truly paperless world, most of us know this isn’t the case. Printed documents, emails, client information sheets and the rest still appear in physical form across the majority of our workspaces.
The trick is how we organise this wealth of white stuff. A great solution is hanging files or baskets, which take up minimal room and offer pleasingly easy access. Another great step is to streamline the process by labelling ‘to read’ ‘read’ ‘not done’ etc, while a colour coding system never hurt anyone either.
Computers get cluttered too
It’s not just the tangible areas of your office which need a spring clean, and your computer can often be the place most in need of an overdue clear out.
Whether it’s tidying up the pages of your company’s online intranet site, finally getting round to wading through the thousands of emails which have overstayed their welcome in your inbox or reorganising that shared server which no one really knows their way around – you might find this is the tip which ends up offering the biggest results.
Streamlining your desktop items is also proven to make a palpable difference to your at-work attitude, as a screen cluttered with icons will ultimately stress you out and hinder your efficiency.
A little bit of elbow grease
No one particularly wants to bring the housework with them to work, but keeping on top of the basic cleanliness of your workspace is a simple thing that can really reap rewards.
Neatness and streamlined thinking counts for nothing if you’ve allowed a build-up of dust or a coaster marked desk get on top of you. Disinfecting wipes are tailor-made for the office ‘quick clean’ and will take care of your computer and phone as well as your desk. Not only are spotless surroundings proven to enhance productivity, getting into this habit will also spur you on to tidy up those biscuit wrappers and empty mugs on a daily basis and hopefully encourage the rest of your staff to do the same.