Familiarity with the décor of an office can obscure one’s ability to see what is wrong with it. By assuming the role of an interior designer, a small business owner can make a realistic assessment of the use of floor and wall space as well as the appropriateness of office furniture. Proper selection and placement of equipment and furnishings can maximize available office space to make it more productive and enjoyable.
Electronic files reduce the need for paper in an office, and breaking the habit of printing a hard copy when one is not needed can eliminate clutter. Stacks of paper that accumulate on a desk, tables or in file cabinets are relics from a previous era, and they create unsightliness and stagnation in an office. Getting rid of excess paper is the best place to start in reorganizing for efficiency.
A paper reduction process may result in dispensing with filing cabinets as well. Making use of a scanner can create electronic files for receipts and paid bills, providing a way to dispense of them promptly. File cabinets require floor space and an additional amount of room to allow drawers to open, and a review of their value in a small space may show that they are not worth their cost.
Clearing the Desktop
Keeping the desktop free of gadgets and photos creates an appearance of orderliness and efficiency. By limiting its space to the purpose of reading, signing, taking action to delegate or destroying documents, a business owner can avoid creating a backlog of paperwork to handle later.
Requiring a Purpose for Everything
Setting a standard that requires every item in an office to contribute to business effectiveness can help a business owner improve functionality. A fresh coat of a light colored paint refreshes the room and requires the removal of art work. Wall space is more effective when used for shelving than for decoration, and shelves provide room for books, supplies, computer equipment or a shredder.
An executive desk and an oversized chair are out of place in a small office, and many sleek designs that are comfortable and ergonomically correct are available in office supply stores. Large trash cans are unnecessary, and a small one may fit under the desk to save space.
A desk that has drawers provides space to store supplies that are used frequently, and easy access to them adds to efficiency. Having access to everything that is needed for a work session contributes to productivity, and most business owners prefer to avoid unnecessary interruptions. Getting up from a desk to find a pen or marker can result in the loss of valuable time.
Taking an objective approach to evaluating an office for appearance and productivity is a key to making improvements. Minimizing office space creates an atmosphere that is productive and makes it possible to do use time efficiently.