It has long been established that attempting to work in a disorganised space is often counterproductive. Despite this common knowledge, many individuals still find themselves wondering why they are unable to work amidst the clutter.
When managers find that employee productivity has tanked and writers block has set in, the time spent organising the workplace will be recouped with significant increases in productivity.
The first step to organising any space is to remove unnecessary clutter. Since many people find themselves justifying hanging on to clutter on the off chance that the item will be needed later on, it is often easier to control clutter if all items are removed to a separate storage. Clearing out a spare cabinet, closet, or room to act as a dedicated office storage space can help employees to battle their office clutter.
Once extraneous items have been removed, employees can work to arrange their individual spaces to their liking. Desk, chair, and computer setups should be ergonomically designed and arranged to avoid light glare on the monitor screen. Care should be taken to organise computer and phone cables in way that prevents them from becoming a nuisance through the use of zip ties, cable organisers, or even left over cardboard tubes that can be easily labeled.
As the employee resumes working in their minimalist setup, each item the employee finds they need regular access to should be assigned a home. If desk drawers tend to become cluttered quickly, consider using drawer organising trays or move items to a set of clear plastic drawers that can be stacked on the desktop and clearly labeled. After each use, items should be returned to their home location so that they can be easily found the next time they are needed.
For jobs that require paper documents, arranging these in vertical staking document organisers can help to clear desk space and make finding the right form a breeze. A scanner should be kept connected to the computer and paperwork scanned into a digital format whenever possible. There should be a waste basket, document shredder, and recycle bin within easy to will prevent trash from building up on the desk. Furthermore, any remaining documents should be regularly purged to ensure no unnecessary paperwork is cluttering up the space.
Depending on the nature of the tasks involved, some employees may find that they are more productive if their space is divided into work zones. For example, some may find that adding a small table and chair within reach of their filing cabinet leaves them more inclined to put papers where they belong. Others may find that adding a comfortable armchair, recliner, or sofa where they can comfortably sit to read or work on a laptop helps to increase their productivity.
Ultimately, maintaining an organised office space requires commitment from all parties involved. Each member of the office staff must remain dedicated to organisation, returning each item to its proper place each time it is used. Each employee must be tasked with the responsibility of returning their own work space to a neat and organised state at the end of each day, and the entire team should pitch in to ensure that commonly used areas are maintained as well. Within a month, organisation will become a well-engrained habit for all parties involved, and the productivity level of the office will begin to soar to new heights.
Head of Training and Development
(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)
Mark Williams is a learning and development professional, using business psychology and multiple intelligences to create fascinating and quickly-identifiable learning initiatives in the real-world business setting. Mark’s role at MTD is to ensure that our training is leading edge, and works closely with our trainers to develop the best learning experiences for all people on learning programmes. Mark designs and delivers training programmes for businesses both small and large and strives to ensure that MTD’s clients are receiving the very best training, support and services that will really make a difference to their business.