How to save time in your work day by reorganizing your office space
How much time do you waste every day looking for things or simply walking around gathering supplies? The U.S.-based Delphi Group reports that employees spend 30% of their time looking for misplaced documents! (Boston Globe)
A strategically organized workspace saves time and money, reduces stress and increases peace of mind. Here are five great tips and tricks for organizing your workspace more efficiently.
Clear your desk
- Tip: The only things on your desk should be current work files, everyday supplies and critical reference materials.
- Trick: Consider creating Monday-to-Friday task file folders that “live” within easy reach.
Minimize travel time
- Tip: The steps that you (or your staff) waste just to recycle paper, print a document or grab a packet of sticky notes can add up fast.
- Trick: Sketch a rough floorplan of the office and use a pen to trace your path through an average day. The multiple lines on frequently used routes will instantly suggest ways to be more efficient with placement of furniture, fixtures and supplies.
Streamline your inventory
- Tip: Overstocking anything from pushpins to product inventory ties up capital, and if it gets damaged, it’s a straight loss.
- Trick: Implement a min-max system by monitoring how much you use and stocking a quantity that falls between your absolute minimum and the smallest reasonable backup supply. This is as important for the home office as for major corporations.
Maximize your storage capacity
- Tip: Wasted storage space costs money and drains efficiency.
- Trick: The simplest way to save storage space and cut down on wasted time and lost items is to be a stickler for storing like with like: all office supplies together, and all writing tools together within the supply storage area. Designate a single space for seasonal items (like decorations). When you combine two boxes into one, get rid of one of the boxes.
Design for continuous improvement
- Tip: As your space comes together, build in ways to maintain the new order.
- Trick: When you have ten minutes to kill before your next appointment or you’re waiting for a conference call to start, pick just one area (a drawer, a file folder) to purge and reorganize.
By gradually making your workspace more efficient and building up the systems to keep it that way, you’re investing in yourself, your staff, your productivity and your profits. For more great tips on workspace efficiency, pick up Adriana Girdler’s Spaces That Work: The 5 simple steps to efficient offices and homes, available as a print or e-book.