Kudos to the Well-Organized Office
The benefits of a well-organized office are many: higher levels of productivity, a feeling of competence and control, and fewer distractions to name but a few. Order creates a sense of professionalism and generates an atmosphere where team spirit thrives. Each of these components contributes to the customer’s perception that this company can be trusted. Attention to organization suggests an attention to important details that contribute to customer satisfaction, further building trust. This trustworthiness breeds loyalty which translates into higher profits. Orderliness and profits—sounds like a winning combination, doesn’t it? And if it weren't for all the clutter, you’d be in good shape, wouldn’t you say? Well, you’re not alone. According to the National Association of Professional Organizations, paper clutter ranks as the top problem for most businesses. Not only is clutter unsightly, but it wastes an unbelievable amount of time. The average person spends 4.3 hours per week searching for papers while the average executive, every day, loses one hour of productivity digging for missing information. And, according to the Small Business Administration, the inability to properly service customers, increase sales and improve the bottom line, all because of mishandled paperwork, is huge. These paper-related snafus cause mounting stress and frustration while zapping concentration and creative thinking. Realizing the potential for havoc that unchecked paper clutter can cause should be incentive enough to get a handle on it. Assess the “big picture” clutter potential. The amount of paperwork some companies must contend with can be astounding. Then set out to establish a plan that will, long-term, effectively maintain order, being mindful of issues surrounding security and privacy.
- Whenever possible, digitize paper documents. This not only cuts down on paper clutter, but it also makes information easier to find and accessible from outside the office.
- Shred as you go OR designate an official “shredder”—whichever angle will keep your company from drowning in waiting-to-be-shredded paper.
- Make the “decluttering plan” a priority, part of the daily or weekly schedule. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.