Imagine receiving a year-end bonus from your employer simply for maintaining a clutter-free office. Though a bonus for cleanliness might not be seriously feasible, organizing your personal work environment might increase your output and waste less time, too. Whether you work in a start up or telecommute from a home-based office, an organized workspace just might increase productivity and decrease cost. Here are four simple organization tips to help improve your efficiency:
1. Clear the Clutter
Clutter can impede productivity by causing stress, anxiety and distractions. Fight clutter by purging unnecessary documents, files and materials from your office space. A paperless office is an accomplishment in itself, but you may find that your business matters are far more secure in a computer file than they were in a locked file drawer. Compare hard copies to computer files and discard documents that are electronically saved. Consider using a shredder to help keep your discarded papers out of the hands of others.
2. Create Your Workspace
If you've ever had to clear a spot on your desk just to sign your name or separate the mail, you know how much easier it is to work when your desk is free from extraneous papers and files. Although some of your workspace may be clear after you purge and shred unnecessary documents, you may still need to carve out space on your desk to perform your daily tasks. Consider using desk organizers, business card holders and pen cups — designed for both functionality and style — to help de-clutter your space. If you're a minimalist, you can choose a desk tray to store your pens, staples and sticky notes out of sight.
3. Show the Real You
Your desk, cube, office or pod work area should reflect your personal style. Decorate your space with photographs, collectibles or other everyday essentials that take your mind off work for a few moments each day. Keep these things to a minimum, however; and keep it work-appropriate.
4. Prep for Telecommuting
If you telecommute, then having a dedicated and organized office space is critical to your productivity. That translates to 3.9 million workers, or almost 3% of the total U.S. workforce, according to CNN Money. People with full-time jobs who work outside a traditional office at least half the time may find it challenging to accomplish a full day's work with a makeshift office, If you fit this definition, you're likely among other prime candidates for home office organization. First step: Begin by creating an actual office space. Many telecommuters convert a guest bedroom into an office because it has minimal in-and-out traffic and few distractions. Replicate an actual office with a proper desk, ergonomically suitable chair, shredder and office supplies. Maintain this organized workspace by not using it for watching television, gaming or activities that can eventually clutter your office environment.
Ruth Mayhew has over two decades of experience in human resources management and consulting for various industries including the technology, healthcare and federal government services. Her work appears in various top professional human resources and consulting publications.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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