Top 10 Office Organization Tips For a Clean Workspace

Every office environment is an interconnected machine with a huge number of moving, working parts. Therefore, cleanliness and organization is vital.  Today we’re going to take a look at 10 office organization tips that can polish up your workspace, improve productivity and boost morale and initiative, and pave the way towards a better work week.

#10) Out With the Old

Many business owners tend to be pack rats who horde away the most trivial and outdated items, from old printers and legacy mice, to damaged desks and chairs.  While it’s always good to have a few fallback items in case of an emergency, the workplace can quickly turn into a graveyard for the obsolete.  Take the day and gather up old electronic items you’ll never use again, then take them to your local electronics recycler so they can be properly disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.  Consider having an open house yard sale for older items like office furniture you no longer need, but are still in good condition.  Gift the staff with knick knacks that are taking up space, but may bring a smile to their faces or maybe not.  The more you jettison from your workspace, the cleaner and more spacious it will be. 

#9) Hide Wires

This one can be tricky, especially in an office environment loaded with desktop computers. There are many ways to hide wires, from power covers and wire molds, to office furniture with built-in wire management systems that reduce clutter while creating a pristine look.  Unsightly wire setups create an ugly, messy look which can have a direct impact not just on your workers, but visiting customers as well.  Optimizing this can signal that you’re committed to going above and beyond, across the board.

#8) Establish Work Zones

Adapting a versatile workspace model can dramatically clean up your office environment.  By compartmentalizing the areas of your office and doubling up on their functionality, you can quickly add versatility for your team which benefits their morale and mood, while allowing you to plan ahead when it comes to your workspace.  For instance, a break room that can serve as an impromptu meeting area can serve a dual purpose, and add a lot of fun into the mix at the same time.  Similarly, a board room traditionally designed for meetings could be used by certain employees to escape distraction and concentrate peacefully on their work.  A reference area can be set up for filing cabinets, shelves and things like office printers and scanners for a dedicated setup. Many workspaces now include personal and private spaces for private phone calls or work, rest, reflection, lactation or prayer. Given the open nature of many workspaces people are in need of spaces, kiosks or rooms where they can go for brief times in the day.

#7) Optimize Your Filing Structure

This tip is good for computer users and those working with hand-held files.  By optimizing file structure, you can cut down on clutter while making it much easier to find what you’re looking for.  This goes for accounting, work orders or media files.  Establish standards across your entire team and make sure they stick to it.  Encourage suggestions from workers during a think-tank session and draft up a system that everyone can work with.  The tidier and well labelled your digital and traditional files are, the less stress and irritation you’ll have to deal with down the road. Whatever you can scan and file will save clutter and legacy filing. It is much more efficient to search for past documents on a computer versus a filing cabinet.

#6) Keep That Desk Clean

It’s always nice to have a desk with a few personal items that make it your own, but it can get out of control very fast.  Use containers, drawers and organizers to reduce clutter, and stop letting those coffee cups pile up on your desk throughout the week!  Don’t overburden your desk with a myriad of Post-It notes, and be sure to chuck that outdated calendar when the New Year rings in.  If every single worker maintains their desk, the entire workplace gets tidy with very little effort.

#5) Structure Your Email

Most of us get a ton of emails per day, and it can be very hard to keep track of things.  Yes, we have spam folders for a reason, but it’s excellent practice to divvy up your important emails into customized bins for easier separation.  Consider making new bins for important clients, your boss or manager, and even team members you regularly interact with.  Sift through your messages at the end of the day and purge superfluous back-and-forths while archiving important ones.  Make an “Urgent” bin and put deadlined emails in there before moving or deleting them once the task has been completed. 

#4) Ditch the Paper and Label

Paperless workspaces are quickly becoming the norm, and not necessarily because of radical environmentalism.  Technology is simply making it easier than ever to ditch the printers and paper packs in favor of 100% digital solutions.  While the convenience of digital transmission and storage is obvious, that goes double when it comes to reduced clutter around the office.  Consider taking the plunge.  Whiteboards can be very useful to record key events, timelines or dashboard items. Is the whiteboard is in a visible useable area in your workspace you will refer to it frequently saving on using the use of loose papers and Stickies. Your office will thank you!

#3) Label It

A label maker goes a long way to organizing your office and reducing clutter.  Pick up a good one and use it to properly label your drawers, cabinets, shelves and kitchen items with appropriate tags that not only look professional, but remain durable compared to a sticky note or an ugly piece of paper. 

#2) Gather It Up

Over the course of time, your office may end up looking like a children’s play room with all the toys taken out of the box.  Take an hour to skim the office and gather up objects that may have fallen away from their respective areas.  Also, don’t hesitate to think about placing these objects in a new space, perhaps closer to the team that might need them the most.  If it makes no sense for a printer to sit at the opposite corner of the room, take 5 minutes to switch its location.  That one step might go a long way around the office.

#1) Upsize Your Trash Can and Recycling Bin

This one may seem trivial, but think about it.  The less time you spend emptying your trash can, the more time you have to concentrate on your tasks.  Plus, there’s less risk of that empty pop can falling out when your trash can has reached maximum capacity.  It makes no sense to have a trash can that can’t keep up with your daily routine, so be sure to get one that you’ll only have to empty once, at the end of the day.  Don’t leave unsanitary dishes or containers in your office. It is a good idea to have 2 recycling containers – 1 for immediate recycled papers and another which you recycle on a weekly or monthly basis which you may need to refer to.

We hope these tips help you tidy up your office space for the new decade.  For more information on crafting an optimized workspace for your team, get in touch with us today!