By Willie Krut
The office looks like a stock room, lines of shelves full of dusty manuals, guides, and reports. The desk doesn’t look better either. There are piles of documents and memos around the computer, reminders stuck all over the monitor.
Does that sound familiar?
Yes. And of course everybody has heard about how efficient and effective your office is when it is properly organized, a clear desk clears your mind, that an organized by the book workstation eliminates the sentiment of being overwhelmed and stressed.
There are some managers that estimate their employees by how busy their desk is. There is a belief that an overfilled office is reflective of a full activity and a workaholic person. This is wrong. And I am really glad that more and more employers understand that a stuffed office is just the result of disorganized person.
If you keep your office well-organized, you save a lot of time and avoid unnecessary stress. It is so easy to find any document or file on your table when everything is in proper order. Statistics shows that the general worker wastes about fifty to fifty five hours a year on finding the correct file on his desk. This is not counting the time that other people spend to wait for those files. Just imagine how many other things it will have an effect on.
I think that you wouldn’t mind if I once again recommend thoughts that will help you to do good work, to be efficient, effective, and get more work done. Here is a list of them.
1. First of all, clear your workplace and keep it this way. Keep on the desk only those supplies that you use often; pen, pencil, staplers, etc. Remember, only the ones that you are currently working on.
2. Avoid turning your office into a stock room. There are always all sorts of things on the table that just collect dust. By the way, dust can cause allergies and negatively affect your job efficiency. The files that you are currently not working on must be stored in the file cabinet.
3. Computer hardware must be placed under the desk or on another table next to you, so you still have easy access. Keep the plants, pictures, and ‘cheer me up’ things to a minimum on your table. They are also very good dust collectors. Minimize the amount of posters and stickers too.
4. Keep the filing cabinet close to where you sit. Separate the files that you use often from the seldom-used files so that the second does not get in the way of the first ones.
5. There are all kind of holders, bounders, and files on the market today. You can find them in different colors made of cardboard, plastic, or wood. They are a really great help to file documents in a vertical way. I suggest using them. They will save you a lot of room and give easy access. The file cabinets look nice and organized. It is much easier to find necessary documents. Sort them in a way that you are comfortable with. Don’t forget to label them.
6. Set up a schedule for inventorying your file cabinets and desk. Throw away the things that you don’t need any more. Create room for new ones. This way you reduce the need for more shelves or file cabinets. The documents that you are not sure what to do with, put in storage or the archive room. Finally you will find that they are useless and dispose them. Schedule an inventory in the storage room as well.
A lot of companies have policies on how to handle documents and when and how to dispose them. Usually the old documents get dispose after 2-3 years. Unless there are some rules about a specific document that must be kept longer. Documents like general memos, office announcements, and daily reports can be disposed of even on a monthly basis.
It takes time to get used to proper style in your office. Start with cleaning your office and then follow the recommendations step by step. Anything in your office and on your desk that can be changed in a way that helps to improve your work process needs to be changed. Remember, a more efficient workplace – a more efficient you.