As we all know, the average workday is filled with tasks and responsibilities that demand our attention. Oftentimes, it can be difficult to keep up when you have a cluttered office space. Overwhelmed employees are less productive and more prone to making mistakes on the job.
Messy, disorganized office space is the perfect breeding ground for inefficiencies. Rearranging and moving piles occasionally doesn’t count. Neither does clearing off your desk if you swipe it into a bin or drawer when you get to work (which we all do).
It takes time invested now – at least 10 minutes per day – but that investment will pay dividends tomorrow with less wasted time spent looking for things like scissors which are already right there on top of your computer monitor where they belong.
In order to maintain an organized office for the best productivity in 2021, follow these expert tips.
Office Organization Tips
1. Arrange Everything You Need Within Reach
A careful inventory of all the tools and items that are used to get things done at work will make productivity easier. Make it a habit to keep these items on your desk or computer, so you can maximize time and organization when getting something accomplished in an office setting.
2. Clean Your Office or Work Desk
One of the best ways to keep your office professional is by maintaining a clean environment. As you go about your day-to-day tasks, ask yourself if there’s anything that could be more than just thrown away and forgotten. You want people coming into or calling in for business with you to have pride knowing they’re working alongside an organized individual who takes their time as well as others’ seriously.
3. Keep Current Tasks and Projects In Front of You
Have you ever had that feeling where your head is spinning and it’s hard to concentrate on any one thing? Having all of our current projects out in the forefront can help us stay focused by giving more attention to what matters most.
4. Establish Milestones
Set goals for yourself and work backward to create a set of milestones that will help you measure your progress towards them. This is one way in which structuring your time can provide valuable insight on what needs the most attention now, while also giving an idea as to how much longer it may take before completion.
5. Set a Workspace That’s Only For Work
Your office is a complex ecosystem, and it’s important to know how each area works. The input tone of voice should be professional in order to impress potential clients. Decide what type of activity happens in each area by considering the following:
-The main workspace (most likely your desk,) where you’ll do most or all work during the day; this may also include internet access for research, phone calls with colleagues/clients
-A reference area (filing cabinet, shelves), which holds records that are infrequently accessed but still very necessary
6. Label All that You Can
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that in this day and age, the label maker is your best friend. If you want to stay organized, labeling cabinets will not only save you time but frustration as well while limiting interruptions during the workday when people start asking where printer paper has gone for five million times.
7. Automate Repetitive and Manual Tasks
I’m guessing there are a ton of tasks that you do on a regular basis that take up an obnoxious amount of your time. If you’re the office manager, then it may be tempting to just say “not my job” and let other people handle small things like restocking supplies or scheduling meetings. But by automating these tasks, they can become so much easier for everyone.
8. Arrange and Separate Your Inboxes
This is a good idea for people who work often with other individuals. Create folders, trays, or boxes specifically for each individual you collaborate and communicate with frequently to make it easier to organize your time. This will help keep things clear between everyone involved so that there are no conflicts later on down the line.
9. Clean Up Your Drawers
This way your drawers will be organized and you’ll always know where to find what you need without having to search through piles of stuff. Make sure each drawer has the same organizational system so that everything is easy for everyone to use.
10. Try Paperless
Playing with paper has always been a huge nuisance for me. I tend to have piles and stacks everywhere, leading to cluttered desks that are hard on the eyes. The best part about going completely digital? There’s no messy paperwork after you’re done! No need to worry about running out of pens or finding an old piece of scrap paper in your junk drawer – just whip up some notes on any device using whichever app suits your style best (I personally recommend Evernote).
11. Set Discard Dates
You don’t need to keep every piece of paper indefinitely. Mark on files or documents when they can be tossed, shredded, stored electronically for a specified length of time (if applicable).
12. Organize Your Virtual Workspace
Your email account is almost an office space in itself. You can organize it the same way you would for your paperwork, with files and a one-touch system – apply that filing system to all of your electronic documents as well. Another strategy to consider: develop time blocks where only two or three times per day do you check out this e-mailing distraction so it doesn’t become an overwhelming chore in life.
13. Utilize On-Demand Self Storage
You know how it is, you have all these things in your home that are just taking up space but aren’t being used. But getting rid of them or moving out those old desks and other pieces of furniture we got when the office seemed like a good idea isn’t feasible either! Plus there’s no place to put anything if they go anywhere at this point. That’s where Clutter comes in handy with their on-demand self-storage solutions for people who need extra help packing away clutter without needing to take any time off work or even leave their homes, saving hours every day trying not to be overwhelmed by belongings collecting dust around us doesn’t sound pretty appealing after all does it?
14. Get Wheels for Your Desks
The cool trick from the startup world is installing wheels on the bottom of your desks. The ability to reconfigure gives your team (or company) a degree of flexibility that encourages collaboration and inspires creativity.
15. Designate a Place Where You Put New Things
Designate a section of your desk as your landing pad. This is the one and only place on your whole desk that you are allowed to put things! Everything else stays in the drawer or cabinet, but don’t overfill it as I did with my pencils- this was just too much for me to handle (pun intended). When the landing pad gets full, replace any items from there into their proper places before putting out more stuff.
16. Create an Office Library
Ever been in a conference room and found reference books that no one had ever looked at? Don’t get us wrong, they may be useful someday. But until then it would be better to put them somewhere where people can actually find them when needed! The best place is right on the library shelves for all your coworkers/employees to see- just like you did with this old encyclopedia set from high school (now everyone knows what an amoeba looks like). With some organizing skills and our trusty label maker, we got work done quicker than usual because now everything was easy to locate ̶ including those pesky random titles or authors who were hard as heck before.
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