There’s no way around it – being an office manager is hard work. From keeping the workspace functional, to anticipating the needs of employees, to just being generally present to solve problems as they arise, office managers consistently – and unendingly – have a lot on their metaphorical responsibility plate. One of the biggest challenges of being an office manager at a busy company is maintaining an office that is tidy and clutter-free, despite constant chaos and activity and bustle.
Despite the challenge of maintaining a tidy office, keeping your office clutter-free is key for maximum employee productivity. According to a study on clutter done by Forbes, the typical professional wastes about 150 hours per year looking for info they can’t find due to disorganization and mess. This can end up costing a company about $3,800 dollars — and nobody’s got time for wasted time or money.
4 Tips for Cutting Office Clutter
If you’re looking for ways to tackle office clutter, the following decluttering tips can help. With a few simple steps, you can have an office that both facilitates productivity and feels like a pleasant place for people to work.
- Create a space for everything.
There’s some important truth behind the famous mantra “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” Designating a place for every single thing you or your teammates use while in the office will help drastically cut back on clutter and chaos. Even if you’ve already been in your office space for decades, it’s not too late to create official spots for your supplies. Find a specific place for everything (that means everything: the hand sanitizer bottle you pass around, postage stamps, even the shared office umbrella) and add labels to make everything clear. By designating a place for each item, you can avoid having things pile up on random surfaces and cut down on the search time required to find necessary materials.
- Delineate a workflow for decluttering paperwork.
One of the biggest office clutter culprits is paper. Paper is essential for most business situations – but it can pile up easily, and it’s difficult to sort through. Instead of letting piles of papers sit on desks, one of the smartest decluttering tips is to create an official paperwork workflow for the office. Give everyone an inbox, an outbox, and a place to file papers when they’re no longer needed. Instituting a workflow is a great method for decluttering paperwork, and it can also help ensure that files stay organized over time.
- Store nonessential items.
If your office has storage space that’s out of sight: a filing cabinet, storage closet, basement, storage unit, etc., use it to hold nonessential items that won’t need to be accessed regularly. This means you should store away old papers, equipment you no longer use, or things you need infrequently — like holiday decorations you only use once a year. Getting things you need infrequently out of the workspace is an easy fix for a work environment that feels too cramped.
- Designate a monthly decluttering day.
No matter how careful you are about your initial office decluttering session or how many helpful systems you put in place, chances are that there will be some office clutter buildup over time due to daily activity. So, try to designate a day each month to devote to decluttering. File papers that are on surfaces, put away equipment that has been left out, and review your systems to make sure they are working. Regular check-ins help you stay on top of messes so they never get overwhelming.
Need help getting the clutter out of your office space? Vesper’s office managers can help. We’ll help you cut through the chaos and get your workspace neat and tidy, so your team can enjoy optimum productivity.