“For every minute spent organising, an hour is earned” – Benjamin Franklin
Every office worker is different; their personalities, their dos and don’ts and whether they’re organised or not. But one thing is consistent amongst employees, the state of where you work affects how you work.
The average office worker spends their time at a desk and in front of a computer; however, the office environment as a whole should help you to be as productive, happy and stress-free as possible. Working in a cluttered, untidy and unorganised environment is likely to have an effect on your work and your mood; and not in a positive way. Maintaining an organised office where the environment is clean, and where you can find important files easily, is likely to improve the productivity, efficiency and morale of the workforce, as well as save time.
From overall organisation of an office to keeping your individual workspace tidy, both employees and employers alike have a duty to keep the workplace clutter-free to achieve maximum productivity.
How much time does a lack of organisation cost?
It is estimated that office workers lose the equivalent of a weeks’ worth of work looking for files, as much as 30% of working time is spent looking for misplaced items and the average executive wastes six-weeks every year just searching for papers. Important files and items are misplaced due to a lack of organisational strategy and an untidy workplace. Further to this, a recent survey has revealed that one in three employees admit to working in an office that is cluttered or untidy.
An unorganised and untidy office can also lead to an unclean office which, alongside dust and germs, is more likely to spread illness amongst employees. Airborne dust can affect those who suffer from allergies or asthma leading to more absence through sickness.
A lack of organisation in the office is the only threat to business; untidy individual workspaces are also damaging. Research suggests that an untidy desk impacts how an employee feels about going to work, it can increase stress levels, be demoralising, increase workload, decrease productivity and cause concerns by colleagues about the individuals judgement.
Benefits of an organised workplace
A well-organised workplace is a life saver for office workers. Not only does it provide a feeling of control, it improves levels of productivity. Less time is wasted searching for documents or worrying about mess, and more time is spent actually working, allowing you to position yourself for success.
“Morale” and “organisation” go hand-in-hand; a clean, well-kept and organised workplace gives off a positive vibe, reduces stress and generally increases staff happiness. Employees are more likely to be motivated to come into work knowing they are working in clean and organised conditions rather than a cluttered bomb site. Workers who take pride in their own workspace by organising their desks, tidying up and maintain filing systems are more likely to have a positive influence on the rest of the team allowing them to work effectively together.
Tips to keep an organised workplace
Need to start organising your workplace but don’t know where to begin? Here are a few handy tips for both employers and employees.
- Purge your office – De-clutter, empty, shred and get rid of everything you don’t need. Don’t be a hoarder. If you know something won’t be used again, get rid of it and make some valuable space.
- Establish work zones – Decide which work occurs in specific areas of the workplace and ensure the appropriate supplies, equipment and files are located there.
- Label – Label shelves, files, folders, books and other important documents making them easy to locate.
- Archive files – If needed for future use, keep all files and materials of a completed project in a safe and secure place away from your current working folders.
- Clear & organise your workspace – Get rid of any useless materials, wipe the surface and arrange your desk appropriately. Use trays to place important and current papers and use desktop organisers to store needed folders.
- Time management – The most underrated form of organisation, keep a daily or weekly “to-do-list” and schedule times to complete tasks to ensure you don’t miss important deadlines or meetings.
- Implement a filing system – Whether digital or not, make sure you have a safe and secure filing system. If digital, ensure you do regular backups.