What does a well-organized office look like?
Organizing office spaces is fundamental to a successful business enterprise. Companies that do it effectively can radically improve their productivity and boost morale among their team.
But keeping things neat and tidy is more challenging than many people imagine. It’s not just a matter of putting items away in drawers (though that helps). It’s also about the structure of your office and how you think about it from the outset.
Remember, an office isn’t a place people go to work. Instead, it’s somewhere that facilitates the production of goods or services. Changing your perspective in this way helps you see your workspace in a different light.
So, with that said, what does a well-organized office actually look like? Let’s take a look.
It has a clean layout
Firstly, a well-organized office has a clear layout that allows you to easily access your equipment, supplies, printer ink, and files. There should be plenty of room to move around comfortably and safely. Spaces should offer sufficient lighting and ventilation to produce a productive and healthy working environment.
By contrast, you don’t want a situation where your office space feels cluttered and you can’t get from point A to point B. It’s inefficient and it can stress some workers out.
You also want a clean layout that appeals to clients (if they come to your office). You want to make them feel at home and relaxed, not like they are having to avoid boxes, desks, and files everywhere they go.
It is functional
Having a well-presented office is great. But offices should also be functional, meaning that they meet the physical needs of employees and your business.
Many office owners try to cram as many desks into a given space as possible to maximize efficiency. However, this approach seldom works. Workers wind up feeling penned in like sheep on a sheep farm. They don’t have the ability to relax.
Desks, for instance, should meet the needs of employees. They should adjust to employees’ needs and preferences and fit their back, neck, and limb length. Each workstation should also have storage solutions that keep items organized and accessible, such as drawers, shelves, cabinets, or bins. You need to think carefully about how you arrange these to make them more accessible to workers while reducing clutter.
It has a filing system
Another aspect of a well-organized office is an efficient filing system for documents and tasks. These should help you keep track of your work and deadlines.
Your filing system should categorize documents by type, date, and priority. You should also keep a calendar or planner that lets you schedule meetings and appointments. Everyone should have access to these shared resources so people can coordinate more easily. Filing shouldn’t be the responsibility of just one person.
Effective filing systems can also extend into the digital space. You should have cloud resources that make it easy for people to access documents with the right permissions.
It has plenty of counter space
Another sometimes overlooked feature of organized offices is their abundance of counter space. They frequently have plenty of room for files, stationery, and computers, giving businesses the flexibility to adjust their operations over time.
Imagine your office is absolutely full of equipment and the paraphernalia of doing business. Switching things around and opening up new workspaces becomes impossible in that environment.
It’s also challenging when you lack floor space for hotdesking or conferences. You can’t arrange the environment to suit the task you’re working on.
It makes good use of labels
Another feature of highly organized offices is their extensive use of labels. These make it easy to see what’s in each box and folder for quick access. This approach negates the need for staff to spend a significant amount of time rifling through archives.
It has personal touches
Of course, a well-organized office isn’t just about functionality. It also includes personal touches where appropriate. These are perfect for helping you build a better brand image and making people feel relaxed and welcome. For instance, you might add some color, art, plants, photos, or other decorations that make your people happy and inspired.
Again, though, you need to be careful. Adding too many additional items will make your office feel cluttered and less professional. Limit each person to a couple of personal items to make work feel more like home.
Managers institute systems to maintain habits
Most companies keep their offices well-organized periodically. However, only a small number manage to sustain a high level of organization over longer time scales. Managers will often initiate decluttering drives at the start of the month which peter out by the end of it.
That’s why it’s critical to invest in systems that help to keep your office organized every day. These systematize office management, ensuring that the things you want to happen occur automatically.
What does that mean in practice? It could involve:
- Hiring a professional commercial cleaning company that specializes in keeping office environments tidy
- Adopting various staff policies, including a tidy desk policy
- Using archiving companies and file management specialists to keep folders and paperwork organized and accessible
- Structuring management to maintain a clean and tidy office daily
You’ll want to regularly review your approach to office management. This way, you can evaluate what’s working, and what’s not. Once you develop routines and drum them into your employees, you’re far more likely to develop long-lasting solutions.
It adapts to the company culture
Lastly, well-organized offices adapt to company culture. Some can become self-organizing if you have the right philosophy in place.
What does that mean? Essentially, it means your employees organize the space according to their working requirements. You don’t need to manage the situation from above because staff does it themselves to facilitate better work.
Creative organizations often adopt this approach. They rely less on formal office management and more on a general culture of respect and freedom. In this scenario, the office has become a tool or instrument to enable workers to get the job done.