Maximize whatever space you have.
Winston Churchill once said, “We shape our buildings; thereafter, they shape us.” How true, not just for buildings but for our offices as well.
Studies have found that the physical space in which we work affects satisfaction, productivity, and even learning. Yet few of us take time to strategize and organize our workplaces or our homes. Business consulting is more than creating strategies, it starts with building a foundation with the right space.
Imagine an office where you show up every day and feel excited each day to get started because your desk is inviting you to sit down. Your chair is ergonomically correct, you have all the latest technology, and you have comfortable seats for your guests. When your office is right, you will feel comfortable and energized. When you check into your office each morning, you will have the right keys for being organized.
Here are a few keys and a few simple steps, ranging from the right workspace system to ergonomic-friendly products that can help businesses boost employee productivity and ease.
1. Be ergonomically correct
Keep a massage ball handy to free your hands from stress. People performing repetitive activities on a keyboard or an adding machine can injure their hands. A stress ball will help you or your staff exercise your hands in new ways, rather than just typing.
Arrange your office room in such a way as to maintain appropriate air circulation. Position yourself away from air conditioning vents that push air right on top of you.
Position your computer monitor twenty-four to thirty-seven inches away from you with the screen at or below eye level to reduce strain on your neck and shoulders.
If you are on the phone a lot, use a Bluetooth device, headset or a quality speakerphone so that you can listen and write notes at the same time.
2. Create an at-home workspace
Designate a spot in your home to do your business and money activities such as Internet research, writing thank-you notes, managing your schedule, and paying bills.
Always do work activities in that space and only that space. Then you’ll always know where everything is.
3. Arrange your main office
Arrange your office furniture for maximum use of the space.
Create a specific location for specific things, such as client files, supplies, books, calendar, briefcase, and appointment book.
Place your most frequently accessed files nearest your work desk.
Place peripherals and hardware where you can reach them without crossing the room.
Secure cables off the floor. Label them, so you always know what they are and to which equipment they connect.
4. Work anywhere
Wherever you are, keep your work flowing.
5. Create a portable office
Have an “on the go” system ready to roll whenever and wherever you go. Even at a moment’s notice, you can always have your schedule, work plan, and appointments list handy—in the car or however you travel.
6. Get set up for mobility
Keep your critical information at hand by using a SmartPhone. These devices have the functionality of a computer but are compact enough to throw in a briefcase, handbag, or pocket (e.g., iPhone, Droid). This mobility can also be done with a laptop, which can be set up so you can work offline on your email, and once you hook up to the Internet it will synch, send, and reconcile your email.
Through Microsoft Outlook, you can synchronize your task list, calendar, and address book to your home computer using Microsoft Exchange or Google Apps for Business. However, assess your true needs before you purchase. Keep it simple.
7. Use the same organizing methods
Wherever you work—at the office or at home—consistency simplifies your thought process. Use the same system.
Unclutter your brain. Let organizing do the work for you…so you do not have to try to remember what you were doing or where you put something.