How do I reduce clutter in the workplace?
If you every watch those programmes on television about obsessive hoarders, you probably think that you could never allow your home to get into that kind of state – and you may be right.
However, we all know it doesn’t take long to build up a load of clutter in our ever busier lives. Now whilst at home this usually leads to a regular clear up, the same isn’t so often true of our offices. We can, after all, leave it all behind every evening. The trouble is the morning comes and with work pressures nothing really seems to happen.
Gradually this can have a very negative effect, not only on our physical space, but also can become demoralising as we continually search for that missing file or struggle for additional space as more work arrives. This can also have knock-on consequences for our colleagues – especially those who are tidier and more organised than we are. It also begins to give an impression of the way we work to our bosses, clients and suppliers which may not necessarily be a positive one.
So what can we do?
The first thing to do is to accept that there is a problem and make a concerted effort to do something about it. It may of course not be entirely your fault and you may need to involve your employer to help solve some of the issues you are facing.
If you are the sort of person that tackles work as it arrives on your desk rather than as it is about to fall off it, you are probably less likely to be affected. The most important thing is use of space. Clearing your desk gives you more space to work and more space to think. Psychologically it also lets you concentrate on the next job in hand rather than being dragged down by the perception of there being lots of incoming work to tackle.
So we say – tidy your desk, only keep items that you use regularly within reach, store other things away neatly in office cupboards or pedestals. Move as many things into storage as you can – divide these into ‘short term’ – i.e. the files you will be working on next or regularly and ‘long term’ – those items that effectively can be archived.
Speak to your employer about how this storage can be provided – are there unused filing cabinets that you could use or are they filled with items that could be archived? Can an archive be set up either on-site or off-site to reduce the clutter? Could you consider scanning documents and keeping them in a digital format instead?
As more space becomes available discuss with your colleagues the best use of the space – will there be more room to create more desks or to introduce a break out zone or maybe create a kitchen and eating area, so you don’t have to eat at your desk.
We are confident that you will perform better, feel better and enjoy a new lease of working life by de-cluttering.
At Whitespace we work with companies and staff to transform their working environment for the better. If you’d like us to review your office environment, perhaps conduct a free storage audit and provide some space planning for the future, why not call us now on 03300 415 119 – now that you can find the phone………..