Spring has finally sprung, and with the coming warmth and sunlight can come signs that you’ve neglected your workspace a bit during the dark and dreary winter season. Maybe you’ve let some dust bunnies start a family on the corners of your desk or perhaps your collection of loose papers and discarded notes looks like you belong on an episode of “Hoarders.” Whatever the case may be, now’s the time to take up that seasonal tradition and embark on a bit of spring cleaning.
Going through and cleaning your workspace not only helps you be organized and neat, but can also provide you with some great boosts to your own productivity.
Rank and File
First, let’s consider the infamous stack of papers. Most of us have been guilty of letting documents pile up on our desks, whether due to being busy or thinking that we’d need to refer back to something for any of a thousand different reasons. Take the time to weed through the former trees that have started to regrow roots on your desk and sort out what’s important. Decide what needs to be filed as a completed project, what can be put into storage and is no longer needed, what needs to be kept and reorganized with easy access for an ongoing project, and finally what can be trashed, shredded or recycled.
When you’re done, try to keep your space organized every day by placing documents directly where they need to go when you’re done. A moment of proactivity can prevent an hour of picking up after your own procrastination later and save you from having to go hunting for what you need in the future.
Check the Tech
This one is a twofer – to check your office equipment and to check your own digital workspace.
Many offices have a lot of technology still lying around that hasn’t been used in years as new devices have replaced their outdated features. If you still have an old fax, unused phones or even a telegraph machine in your office, it’s time for them to go. Clear up space and recycle or sell your unneeded equipment and ditch some of the clutter in your space. Not only will this make your workspace more organized and open new storage and work areas, but it may even raise a few bucks for your organization if any of your equipment still has value to anyone else.
And don’t forget to check your digital workspace for clutter, as well. How many of us have stacks of items on our desktops or an email inbox that hasn’t been purged of deleted items in months, if not years? Clearing out this space can help you improve your workflow and optimize your productivity. If you’re spending time digging through files on your computer to find the correct version of your document or searching through email archives for those client notes, springtime is the right time to clear out the clutter and organize.
You can create folders to organize emails and files by client name or project ID or any other category that makes sense to you. Along the way, you can also review and delete revision files that are no longer needed and purge the deleted items from both your computer and your inbox. Finally, don’t forget to backup – once you’ve got a clean digital environment, push a copy of your data to your external hard drive, server or cloud storage to make sure everything is safely saved in case anything happens to your computer.
Save on Supplies
How many times have you gone looking for printer paper, staples or some other office supplies only to spend 10 minutes digging through the supply closet or going from desk to desk, chasing clues on where they might be like an adventurer on the worst video game quest ever? It happens in nearly every office, but it doesn’t have to.
While you’re getting springtime clean, organize your supplies and take an accounting of what you have, what you’ll need soon and what you’re out of. Once you know where all your replenishable goods are located and how much you have of each, you can reorder what you’ll need and communicate to all employees where things are and how to find them. Plus, once you’ve gotten a full accounting, you can keep tabs on your usage and make sure that whenever inventory starts running low, you have a process in place to re-up. That will save you from buying more items than you need, cutting costs on your bottom line and reducing time spent by employees navigating through the dungeon of office supplies on a quest for sticky notes.
Clean for Your Health
Finally, we get back to the real tangible health risks of a dirty workspace – dirt, dust, germs and illness. For those with allergies, those dust bunnies that have been multiplying all winter are about to stir and start bothering your sinuses just in time for the springtime pollen burst that will send you in to a sneezing fit. But it’s not just these nasal irritants that you need to worry about – it’s the germs.
Studies throughout the years have concluded that most workplace desks are not just dirty – they’re dirtier than things like toilet seats. In fact, just the surface of the desk can harbor more than 400 times the number of germs per square inch than those found in the bathroom, according to reporting from The Independent. So if it’s been a while since you last gave your desk a thorough clean, break out those cleaning supplies and give everything on your desk a good wiping down. It’s not just good for your health and your personal productiveness, but also that of your colleagues. Oh, and don’t forget your phone and keyboard – they’re much dirtier than you probably even realize.
Clear Your Mind at Space Between
Once you’ve cleaned out your workspace, spring out of the office to clear your mind and get a fresh perspective at Space Between. Our workspaces are organized, clean and ready to help you take your messiest problems and turn them into polished solutions. With ample space to brainstorm, collaborate and organize your thoughts – and facilitators available to help guide your conversations and ideation – you’ll find that sometimes all it takes to find the right solution is to look at things from a new perspective. Learn more about scheduling time at Western New York’s only ideation and creative thinking workspace today and see how you and your team can think outside the box.