Chaos can be a time-killer; disorganization costs the average worker an hour a day of time. Whether you are a small business owner or independent contractor, an organized office can help to increase your productivity, which can lead to more clients, sales, and income. You can transform your office into an efficient work space without investing too much time; a few quick changes can make all the difference.
Small offices can easily be overtaken with clutter. Discard any furniture that you are not using. Control and hide cords with cord clips or covers. Use vertical shelves and bookcases to move things off the floor; you should not have to step over books or equipment to walk through the office.
Initiate a general rule about piles, whether it be piles of paper, books, or anything else; everything should have a place and be put away when it is no longer in use. Not only does this stop clutter from building up, but it also preserves the quality of the item and prevents it from becoming lost. Conduct weekly maintenance and clean up to make sure that bookshelves are organized, and the common areas of the office are neat and tidy, and to ensure everything has been returned to its rightful place.
Establish Work Zones
Designate certain areas of the office for specific tasks. You probably need a spot for the printer, scanner, and copier, which can be grouped together in one work zone. Keep relevant supplies, such as paper and toner, organized in a cabinet in the same area. A reference area may include all books, manuals, binders, and filing cabinets. Office supplies can be organized in a cabinet or closet, depending on your space. Use a label maker to mark the shelves where specific items should be stored.
Work Space: Your Desk
If most of your day is spent at your personal work space, then establishing some organizational habits can be well worth the time and effort. Think of your desk as the command center; this is where your career happens. Place your monitor about 17 inches in front of you, at eye level. The phone should be on your dominant side to prevent reaching across your body. Use a vertical file organizer to hold only the files you use most often. Office supplies, such as pens and pencils, should also be limited and kept to those used the most; the rest of your supplies can be organized in one or two desk drawers. Keep the top of the desk clear and clutter-free.
Most people do not enjoy filing, but papers can quickly pile up if the task is ignored for too long. Having an organized filing system can help you to quickly get the job done. Create a labeled file folder for every topic and client for papers that you must keep. Make sure the filing cabinet is organized in a way that makes sense for your office. The key is to be able to quickly find any document you may need at any given time. Scan, and then shred, all documents that do not require storage of a hard copy.