While we now live in a very digital world, the amount of paperwork produced on a daily basis is still substantial. When you picture poor office storage, filing cabinets teaming with papers or overflowing in trays may come to mind. Unfortunately this is a reality for many businesses—perhaps even yours.
It is important to rectify this issue as soon as possible so that paperwork is not lost or damaged. Here are some ideas on how to create a more efficient system.
First, consider revamping your current system by using clear labelling on files and folders, and be sure to store them safely with the spine facing outwards so the information is clear and easy to read.
If you have any items that can be archived but need to be kept for retention reasons, store these separately. If you mix current or ‘working’ documents and older articles, it will take much longer to find what you need.
Archives should be labelled and stored in date order—this will be particularly useful if you need to conduct an audit of company spend or other activity.
For those records that are piling up in employee’s in trays, make sure that each member of staff allocates time to filing these pieces away in the relevant places. Better still; scan them in so that they are also backed up digitally.
A tidy desk means a tidy mind. Employee desks can begin to get quite messy when business is busy, particularly pesky pieces of stationary which are no longer needed, as well as business cards and other paraphernalia related to the individual’s role within your company.
Not only can mess act as a distraction, but there is also a potential health and safety risk if items are knocked over onto the floor. This can result in dangerous trips and falls in addition to damage to equipment.
To avoid this situation, encourage people to use the drawers or desk tidies to keep everything in place. Have a central storage space for excess stationary so that it can be tidied away after use as this will make things much easier when it comes to ordering new supplies. What’s more, any wires for computers and other tech should be tucked away at all times behind desks or against walls.
Even if you have a robust system for storing documents and supplies, organization goes way beyond these aspects. Each member of the team needs to be effective in managing their time in order for everything to fall into place.
To improve time management across the board, consider implementing meetings where tasks or projects are planned as a team and individuals’ responsibilities are made clear from the beginning. Empower your employees to map out the day to day management of their tasks, and encourage them to communicate any concerns or changes to their schedules which could affect any deadlines.
When it comes to any meetings that your company arranges, be sure to pre-plan the agenda and try your best to set a duration period. Meetings can often drag on unnecessarily, cutting into valuable time.
As you can see, these changes are not hard to implement, but will save time and money in the long term.
Author: Clemens Pein is the founder of Shopfitting Warehouse, UK suppliers of retail and office equipment.