There are so many methods of office organization. Just Google “Office Organization Tips” and you’ll see over a thousand tips (with pictures!) on Pinterest alone.
Instead of giving you an overwhelming number of strategies and ideas, here are seven methods that we have seen work for business owners.
1. Organize desks and departments in a logical progression.
There are many ways to plan your office. You can create an open plan office space with or without cubicles. You may have specific rooms dedicated to departments or departmental activities.
No matter your choice in office space or office planning, it’s important to have a purpose behind where you position your employees. Consider how work flows between employees.
For example: Let’s say the first step in your sales process is that a customer walks into reception. There, he encounters someone from your sales team. Once the sale is made, the order and payment go to accounting. Then the order moves out to the production center and finally to fulfillment, where the customer receives his product.
In this scenario, it would make no sense to have accounting by the front door, sales in the back, and reception on the second floor. This kind of setup would promote lost customers, confused orders, and more.
2. Structure your virtual space to match the physical space.
Many offices are set up productively, but waste time wading through virtual problems. These include adding too many people to an email chain, including the wrong departments in conference calls, and failing to provide access to information that is needed.
Even in the virtual space, all you have to consider is who needs the information/access to do their job. In the example above, the accounting department would need access to orders from the sales team. However, they would not need to be included in most sales meetings. The production team would need to be part of an email chain regarding a defective product returned by fulfillment, but would not need to know about every shipment sent out.
This may sound simple – and it is! But, many companies get worried that failing to provide all information about everything to all employees could cause problems – when it’s the information overload that is generating the real issue.
3. Implement time management systems.
You have probably heard the Douglas Adams quote: “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” Writers and other creatives aren’t the only people who have trouble with deadlines. Some employees have difficulties meeting completion dates and fulfillment times. However, many get away with this or don’t improve in this regard because deadline management can be difficult.
There are many great systems which can help you track the deadline dates on your directive. One very simple one is to note your order on your calendar from day one through the end date – sharing it with the applicable employees. Every day, you and the relevant team members will get a calendar reminder letting everyone know how much longer they have to complete the task.
4. Stop hanging onto things you don’t need.
We all need this reminder sometimes. It may be that your desk is covered in post-its and handwritten notes, your email has folders you haven’t looked at in years, or your filing system needs to be archived. No matter what the situation, take time out to examine your desk, desktop, and laptop – and throw away or archive things you no longer need.
5. Keep a limit on your schedule.
Business owners tend to go to a lot of meetings. We have meetings with our networking groups, customers, employees, vendors and more. This can end up filling your day with meetings and leaving you no time for organization and management.
You can resolve this by adding a limit to your schedule. This may mean you only go to one out-of-office meeting a day, attend three conference calls a day, or four go to meetings a week. Work out what you have the capacity for and cut down on unnecessary meetings. Ask for reports or meeting minutes for calls to which you are not vital.
6. Dedicate time each day for office organization.
You aren’t the only one in your business who needs to get and keep things organized. Have every employee schedule time on their calendars daily to get their desks and desktops organized. Not only will this increase employee productivity, in the long run, but they may also find contacts and sales leads they had buried in a subfolder somewhere!
7. Hire organizational educators/consultants for the whole office.
When it comes to getting both your physical and virtual spaces organized and efficient, why not talk to the experts? Business Success Consulting Group has spent years helping businesses organize their offices and increase efficiency.
Contact us today to find out how we can help your office get organized.