It is extremely easy to accumulate clutter in an office. Some employees even use a cluttered desk to show that they are busy and working hard. As an employer, you probably know that a messy desk makes it easy for important papers to go missing and general clutter hinders creativity and productivity.
So, this summer, we are providing five steps for your office to follow. Once all five steps are completed, your employees should have their desks, drawers and desktop computers orderly. During this process, they may discover half-done projects, contacts they “meant to call” or recover a sense of peace.
Here are the five steps:
1. Dedicate time
You and your employees have busy days filled with phone calls, emails, and ongoing projects. Give your employees fifteen to thirty minutes at the beginning or end of every day to work on this project. Depending on the amount of clutter, the project should not take more than a month, with each employee creating order every day.
2. Do a quick assessment
Have your employees go through every drawer and basket, look at each piece of paper on their desk, and go through all of the folders and emails in their computer. During this time, their task is to discover their most common types of clutter. Is it emails? Is it completed orders? Is it half-done and now abandoned projects? This information is important as we get to the next step.
3. Create systems
A very important step is to build organizing systems into different projects. For example, if an employee gets a business card, where does he or she put the information? Holding on to the card is often inefficient. Does the employee scan the card into the computer? Is there a contact system the information can be entered into? Get your employees to write down what their most common pieces of clutter are – and work together to create a cohesive and workable system to put the information floating around their desks to good use.
Another example of clutter that can pile up are emails. What does an employee do with an email folder that holds information on a past client? Do you have an archiving system in place? How does he or she retrieve the information if it’s needed again? The last thing a conscientious employee wants is to lose all of the information they have collected during a project. So, be sure that each employee not only gets instructions on what to do with the information – but how to retrieve it again as well.
This step will not only help employees clean up their desks and desktops, it will also help them keep things more organized in the future.
Now that you have systems in place and places to put the clutter, have your employees clean up. This seems simple, but can be pretty time consuming and tedious. As your employees clean up, you may want to create a game. Perhaps in the sales area it would be “who gets all of their business card names entered into the contact management system first” or something like that. While you may not want to give a prize to someone who ended up with the most clutter – you can give a prize out to whoever cleans their desk and desktop completely, first.
Ask your employees to inspect their areas and their computers. Is there any clutter left over or are there things with which they aren’t sure what to do? Have your employees team up to brainstorm on getting rid of that last bit of clutter.
Bonus Step 6:
There is actually one last step – and that is to get your employees to continue to implement all of the systems developed in step 3. As your sales team gets back from a conference, it should be second nature for them to enter their business cards into your system. When a project is completed, it should be archived in a way that makes it easy to access and retrieve the information.
As your business continues to grow, clutter can feel inevitable. That’s why it is a great idea to periodically address this issue as a company.
Here at Business Success Consulting Group, we specialize in helping our clients create and run a successful, well-organized and prosperous business. Let us know if we can help you get your business organized, clutter-free, and continuously growing.