If you spent most of 2015 missing deadlines and struggling to stay on top of your workload, now is the time to take action. The New Year offers the perfect opportunity for a fresh start, so there’s no better time to improve your organisation than now. Staying organised has a lot to do with your approach to work, but did you know that office design can also be a big factor?
The fact is, a disorganised, poorly designed working environment can decrease productivity and have a detrimental impact on your quality of work. If you are struggling for inspiration on how to transform your office into an efficient, functional space, here are five design hacks that will help you stay organised in 2016.
- Establish activity zones
One of the easiest and most effective ways to stay organised in the office is to establish activity zones. By making sure you have designated areas for different types of activity, your workplace will soon begin to feel like the well oiled machine that it should be. For example, as well as having a main area set up primarily for work, it’s useful to create communal places for other tasks, such as printing, scanning and filing. As a general rule of thumb, when designing the layout of your office you should try to create an easy flow through the space to avoid congestion and enhance efficiency.
It is also a good idea to have both a quiet area, where employees can concentrate on individual tasks and escape the hubbub of the main office, and a collaborative zone for group projects and discussions. This can easily be achieved by using room partitions and floor screens.
- Give everything a home
Do you spend too much of your day shuffling things around trying to find what you need? Having paperwork and other office supplies scattered around your workspace is a sure fire way to increase stress levels and distract you from the task at hand. Without any order to your office, mess and clutter can quickly mount up and have a negative impact on your performance.
To prevent your office from descending into chaos, use storage boxes, bookcases, shelves and filing cabinets, and make sure that you and your colleagues are well versed in where everything is kept. Personal items, such as coats, should also be grouped together and given an allocated place. To maximise productivity, you may also want to consider labelling certain items to make them easier to locate in the future.
At the end of the day before you leave the office, make sure everything is returned to its proper place so you can start the next morning with a clear desk and mind.
- Keep frequently used items close at hand
Positioning your most frequently used items within easy reach will instantly make your workstation feel more efficient. To do this, you will need to determine what is essential and what is dispensable. That means novelty desk toys, last month’s meeting notes and empty coffee cups need to go. Remember, your computer, keyboard and phone should be the focal points of your desk – any additional supplies that you don’t use very often can be stored in an appropriate place. Using a top drawer or desk tray to keep important paperwork can also help you to quickly find the things you need the most.
By streamlining your surroundings and having your essential items readily accessible, you should find that you spend less time scrambling and searching and more time knuckling down and getting things done.
- Have a handy filing system
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as an entirely paperless office, which means having an effective filing system in place is crucial. A common mistake that many office workers make is to place filing cabinets in an inconvenient location – which in turn can result in unsightly stacks of papers ending up on desks. Ideally, shelves, filing cabinets and other storage solutions should be within close range of your workstation for convenience.
To help you prioritise your work between multiple projects, it is also a good idea to have a separate place to store paperwork that you are currently working on. This can either be a tray on your desk or a filing drawer that is within arm’s length of your workstation. Any work that is completed can then be stored elsewhere or thrown out. Having an efficient system for handling incoming tasks can help you improve your time management skills, keep on track with your workload and prioritise your most important jobs with minimal hassle.
- Expand your desk space
There is nothing more distracting than trying to navigate your way around a cramped desk. If you are lacking surface area, there are many simple ways you can enlarge your desk space and give yourself extra room. For example, desks with built in storage units are great space saving options for small offices and can provide you with valuable extra workspace when you need it the most.
If your budget can’t quite stretch to a new desk, adding under desk pedestals can help to free up valuable workspace. Making use of vertical wall space and hanging shelves in the area behind, beside and underneath your desk can also provide a useful place to store office stationery, folders and printers, while wall-mounted notice boards can be used to keep letters, sticky note reminders and to-do lists within easy view.
There is no denying that staying organised at work can be a constant challenge. However, if you take the time to make improvements to your workspace now, you can save yourself a lot of hassle in the long run. By following useful office design hacks like these, you should be able to stay organised and look forward to a more enjoyable, productive and successful working life in 2016 and beyond. To get more ideas on how to better organise your workspace, take a look at the range of products featured on our website.