Did you know that office clutter has a direct impact on how we work? Those overstuffed filing cabinets and disorganized computer desktops can kill productivity.
Our brains like order, and constant visual reminders of clutter can drain our mental resources and decrease our ability to focus. A disorganized workspace can also lead to increased stress, which further impedes our productivity.
Studies have shown that a work environment’s structure and organization play an important part in employee satisfaction and performance levels. While there are proven ways for employees to increase office productivity in their workspaces, employers can do plenty to help optimize productivity. From implementing well-designed storage options to optimizing technology, creating an efficient, organized workspace is good for employees and customers.
And yes, there is a proven link between employee well-being and customer satisfaction. For industries like retail, restaurants, tourism, and healthcare, where customer service happens in real-time, this correlation becomes even more relevant. When you invest in your employees’ well-being, the collateral benefits are undeniable. Employee satisfaction impacts retention, recruiting, and your bottom line.
Keep reading to find out how you can declutter and optimize a workplace for happier employees and customers.
Decluttering Desks and Workspaces
If you want to be more productive, declutter your workspace to declutter your mind. You can’t focus on the job at hand if you are searching through files and drawers every time you need something.
Take a good look at your desk. If you rarely use something, store it in an area where you are not consistently working. If you find broken or outdated items, throw them away or donate them. This inventory should include desktop accessories, outdated files, furniture, equipment, supplies, and anything else that doesn’t contribute to your daily workflow.
Create Work Zones
Review what types of activities should happen in each area of an office or workspace. Your desk, filing cabinets, supply areas, storage areas, and other resources should be set up to enhance your workflow, not slow it down. Store the things you need for particular work tasks based on storage options, frequency of use, and convenience.
For example, your desk and workspace should be in a zone that is well-lit, uncluttered, and allows sufficient area for movement. This zone should include the things you use most often like your work station, active files, reference materials, and other necessities.
Your supply zone should be conveniently located, but out of the way. Closets, shelves, and other storage options can keep supplies readily available and organized.
Label Your Work Zones
Labels help you find the things you need more easily and quickly. Review each of your work zones and label doors, shelves, drawers, cabinets, bins, baskets, and any other storage elements. Labeling also sets a tone of organization and the desire to make your employees’ work lives easier.
Purge Your Filing System
If your file cabinets are stuffed with documents you rarely access, it’s time to purge. Locating irrelevant and outdated documents and disposing of or archiving them will save you the time you’d spend searching through them. This is also a good time to sort file cabinets into client categories or by project.
Invest in a Better Storage System
A well-designed storage system makes it much easier to find what you need. Whether you invest in multi-purpose storage solutions, you can reconfigure or a custom storage solution for your business, better storage means less stress and more time to focus on the tasks at hand.
Digital clutter slows your computer and your productivity. The configuration of a computer desktop, browsers, and file folders can be the difference between distraction and focus. When you have too many icons on your desktop, a disorganized file system, and other virtual clutter, you can experience much of the same negative effects of physical clutter. But digital clutter can have an even more direct impact on your daily workflow.
Here’s how to declutter your digital space:
Take a Digital Inventory
Go through your digital documents folder by folder. Delete or archive any files that are irrelevant or outdated. This is also a good time to create, rename, and categorize folders, as well as move files for easier access. Resist the urge to keep files and folders for those “just in case” scenarios; that will just sabotage your decluttering efforts.
Clear Your Downloads
If you’ve never cleaned out your download folder, it may well be consuming a lot of storage space, which can reduce your computer’s performance (and in turn, your productivity). If you routinely back up files and folders, you can delete the download folder’s contents without worrying about losing something valuable. If you don’t back up regularly, adopt this habit now.
Automate Your Email Inbox
If you use Gmail for work, you can set up your inbox to automatically sort your incoming emails. Other email platforms offer this automation, and there are many third-party apps to either add or enhance this feature. Set up email folders by project, contact, or date and have the corresponding emails automatically routed for easy access.
Configure Your Taskbar
If you’re not using your computer taskbar for frequent tasks, you’re missing out on one of the best ways to stay organized. From docking frequently used apps, programs, and even websites on your taskbar to creating and viewing events, your taskbar is a shortcut to greater productivity.
When you invest in providing employees with an efficient and professional environment, your ROI is increased performance and better customer service. If you want to keep your employees and customers happy, make a clutter-free and organized workplace part of your company culture.