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Tips to de-clutter your office and increase productivity

September 2016

According to a recent survey a large majority of workers admit to judging their co-workers based on the cleanliness of their workspace and nearly half have been appalled by a dirty office or desk area. The daily office cleaning service ensures the general office area is clean but it is up to individual workers to manage a tidy and organised office or desk area.

So how can you maintain an organised, clean and tidy workspace?

Divide your workspace into zones

Ask yourself what do I want from my office space and is it meeting my needs. Set up zones for based on your daily functions – workspace for your computer, a library for research, storage area for supplies and a filing area for archives. This will provide a foundation for an efficient office area.

Keep only what you need at arm’s length

Boxes of pens, stacks of paper and old coffee cups need to go! Reduce the number of items on your desk to the essentials. For most people that means monitor, keyboard, telephone, 2 pens a notebook and maybe a framed photo. Supplies should be stored in the zones you have established for them.

Categorise files

Streamline your working process by filing papers based on three categories: To Read; To Do or To File. Establish set days or times for each. Keep files for ongoing work colour coded and separate from your archive files.

Establish Limits

Set a limit on the amount of material you keep on your desk. For example have one shelf for books and when it gets too full – give away a book for every new book that you add.  The same goes for filing – when the cabinet is full it’s time to de-file.

Sort your catch all drawer

Most people throw things into a desk drawer just to get them out of sight but these drawers become over cluttered and impossible to find anything in. Instead use drawer dividers giving everything a place including paper clips, pens etc. Then go through the drawer every six weeks and clear out anything that is out of place or isn’t being used.

Don’t use email as a to-do list

Most of us are drowning in emails and often use as a to-do list. Digital clutter can be just as stressful and energy sapping as physical declutter. Organise your inbox similar to your physical files with folders or task functions.

Declutter your screen

Every morning your office should welcome you and motivate you to do your best work. A screen cluttered with icons will trigger your stress hormone and make it impossible to find anything. Instead create a logical digital filing system and reduce your desktop icons to a select few. In the same way clear off any post-it’s from your monitor as they only cause a distraction from your work.

Hang outerwear

Hang hooks or use a coat hanger in your office or cubicle walls to organise your outer wear. Provide a separate hook for handbag, jacket, and umbrella. This way colleagues or guests won’t have to step over your bag or sit on your coat.

Keep a basket or drawer for short term storage

Even with best laid plans there may still be some overflow. You may need an area for short term storage. Keep a basket for daily newspapers or magazines but clear this out weekly. Similarly if you bring a gym bag or spare shoes designate a drawer or shelf space to get them out of the way.

Disinfect regularly

Even if you’re neat you still want to prevent the build-up of dust, dirt, food stains or fingerprints. Use disinfectant wipes weekly to clean your desk, phone, keyboard, monitor and mouse. This habit will also ensure you tidy away loose papers and rubbish.

According to the survey 75% of workers said that a clean office makes them more productive. So get the team together and plan how everyone can maintain a more organised, cleaner and more efficient workspace. You’ll be amazed at the increase in productivity!

Emerald Facility Services are experts in the area of office cleaning and commercial cleaning.  Contact Katherine Kelly, Emerald Facility Services Daily Office Cleaning department to find out more about our office cleaning services.

Tips to de-clutter your office and increase productivity