A disorganized workspace makes you less efficient and productive, and is therefore bad for business — lost productivity resulting from disorganized workspaces costs organizations millions per year.
The minutes you spend looking for documents and sifting through your work desk add up to hours, which then add up to days and so on. All that time could have been spent accomplishing more important tasks or engaging in more meaningful activities, including rest and relaxation.
Follow these tips to organize your home or office workspace so you can maximize your time.
Create a designated workspace
Working in different spaces, whether at the office or at home, is known to have some benefits, including improved well-being and boosted creativity. Regardless of where you work, you need to establish a clearly defined work area as this can help you get into the right mind frame to focus on the tasks at hand.
With flexible working arrangements now the norm in most workplaces, you have more opportunities to choose your designated workspace. You can designate a workspace through the following ways:
- If working at home, establish a work area and inform the people you live with that this area is your office space. This area can be an unused guest bedroom, a nook under the stairs, a corner of the living room, or any place that’s quiet and comfortable to work in.
- Whether you work at the office, from home, or both, define what each area in your workspace is for. For example, your desk should be your main work area, an empty corner of your workspace could be where filing cabinets are, and a table nearby could be your equipment area for printers, cables, and various office supplies.
Declutter your workspace
Unless you recently moved offices or bought a new office desk, you might be using the same cluttered, dusty desk you’ve had for months or years. And an unhygienic workspace can cause you to get sick, resulting in loss of productivity. A study found that those who felt overwhelmed by excessive clutter were more prone to procrastinate. Clutter also negatively affects mental health, increases stress, and causes indecision.
Eliminate mess with these decluttering tips:
- Get rid of everything on your desk that you haven’t used for a while, such as paper documents (mail, receipts, training materials, etc.); unused office supplies like staplers, pens, and punchers; and desk ornaments that take up too much space.
- Use cable holders, binder clips, and other similar nifty items to prevent your computer and other gadgets’ cables from getting tangled and causing more mess.
- Make sure that the items and equipment you frequently use are within easy reach.
Invest in workspace organizers, cabinets, bins, and the like
It may seem counterintuitive to buy more stuff especially when you’ve just decluttered, but investing in items for storing, organizing, or binning is also important. Without cabinets and shelves to store things in and bins where you can put away trash properly, it may be difficult to organize the things you need for work, especially as you accumulate things over time.
That said, be smart about your storage ware and purchase only those that you truly need. These simple hacks can help:
- Put mail, urgent paperwork, reference documents, and other files in folders, drawers, trays, and/or filing cabinets.
- Label everything so that you know where to find things when you need them. It also makes it easier for your co-workers at the office and/or housemates to put your items back where they should be stored in case they get misplaced.
- Keep a trash can near your desk so you can throw away a piece of paper or litter without having to get up from your desk.
Tidy up electronic files
Do you often find yourself spending a couple of minutes searching for an Excel spreadsheet or Word document due to numerous folders or duplicate files? If so, it could be that the files in your computer need to be organized and decluttered, too. In an era of remote work, leveraging a variety of software tools can save you a lot of time locating a file and make you more organized and productive.
These simple tricks can help improve your file storage system:
- Put folders within a main folder. Then, re-label files and folders so that they have specific, easy-to-search names.
- Delete old files and folders that are no longer useful.
- Back up files regularly and label your backups accordingly.
- While it pays to have documents stored locally on your PC, laptops, or mobile devices, you can also use cloud-based applications for storage. And instead of using only offline productivity tools, consider switching to their cloud-based versions, such as Google Workspace’s Google Drive or Microsoft 365 OneDrive. The search functionality of these tools makes it easy to manage and locate files, saving you minutes of endless searching.
Let the IT support experts of HERO Managed Services help you leverage technology to reduce clutter in your workspace, be it at home or at the office, with cost-effective, easy-to-use tech tools. Schedule a FREE IT consultation today!