Two types of change can be made during an office makeover that will both boost productivity. The first has to do with our physical environment and the second relates to our work habits.
First we will focus on when we need to make changes to our physical environment, the actual workspace itself, and how to do it.
Productivity increases with an office that is current with your work, your position and job description. However, frequently what I see is an office where the current work is stacked up on the desk and the file cabinet and desk drawers are filled with ancient history.
Here are some hints to help you decide if you would benefit from an office makeover.
- You have a new job title or job description in the same company. This may mean you have changed offices or you could still be at the same desk.
- You are working for a different company.
- You are now working from home.
- You are in business for yourself and your company has changed direction in what it offers and/or you have new products.
If none of the above apply, but you are losing items and your office looks like a windstorm came through, it is time to tackle the job of purging and setting up current systems. This also is a good way to organize your mind for your current work, and it will reduce your working stress. Things that are hanging around our office are not only cluttering up the physical space but are also creating mind clutter.
Let’s review the above scenarios and the pitfalls they present for your office:
- We tend to hang on to material from old projects and committees on which we serve. Now is the time to toss this material or pass it on to someone else. The same goes for newsletters by mail or by email that don’t pertain to your current job. If this is a new position, it often makes sense to keep some of the previous person’s material until you get familiar with your new work. What is not okay, and what I often see, is the material still filling up desk drawer space two years later. Open up your desk and see if this is true for you.
- If you found yourself taking boxes home or with you to your new office “just in case,” it is time to do the purge. Sometimes I see boxes and more boxes taking up space years later that have no value.
- You are now working from home. If you are not careful, your new office can creep into the other rooms of your house. It also is important to keep your time organized because another pitfall is that you may find yourself working all hours. Some of my clients find it helpful to close the office door and actually put up a sign saying “Office Closed” to give them some separation from their work.
- For those who are in business for themselves, as I am, it is important for your office to keep step with what your business is right now. Purchasing another filing cabinet is not the answer. A client wanted to buy a new filing cabinet before I came so we would be able to file his current work. I suggested he wait. Turns out three of his four file drawers were filled with information that had nothing to do with his current business. Money and space were saved by getting his office current.
See the Results
You can check out pictures with the results of hard work that made office spaces less cluttered from the Business page of my website.
Change in your office can be very freeing — making your office more organized, look better and feel bigger. Another huge benefit of reducing your office clutter and your mind clutter is that you will be more focused, more productive and accomplish more with less stress.