Spring Clean Your Life & The Office To Embrace A Fresh Start
Spring is in bloom and this wonderful season ushers in warmer weather and the bright colors of flowers and greenery as nature bursts to life. Spring is synonymous with rebirth and new beginnings which makes it the ideal time for businesses to reassess their organizational habits and processes…or lack thereof.
Look around the office. Is it cluttered? Disastrous? Is there more chaos than harmony? Bring the company’s mission into focus by clearing out the clutter. To celebrate spring, dedicate a day to spring cleaning. Understand that this type of cleaning doesn’t necessarily involve any spray bottles full of disinfectant or paper towels. Office spring cleaning focuses on cleaning up the mess of tasks gone astray and to-do lists that have been ignored.
Not sure where to begin? Here are five tips to spring clean your business:
Focus on the email inbox.
Overhaul the filing cabinets.
Backup the files and systems.
Focus on employee feedback.
Clean up the desk space.
Stop Ignoring the Inbox
On average, employees receive more than 100 emails every day. Over the course of a week, a month or the entire year, that inbox can become an overwhelming pile of virtual communication. While many of those notes need to be saved, they don’t need to live in the inbox forever. Instead, use archiving options that are available via most workplace email systems.
Sort each message into a client folder to keep it readily accessible while also freeing up the inbox. Creating files for each client allows employees to find necessary communications easier and can eliminate time spent sifting through thousands of messages.
Depending on how many emails are held in the inbox, organizing emails can take anywhere from a few hours to several days. Once the system is in place, employees can file each email they receive into the appropriate folder.
Overhaul the Filing Cabinets
For many businesses, filing cabinets are virtual spaces instead of physical. However, many industries still rely on standard file folders and metal cabinets. Unfortunately, years of old files can overload cabinets and limit space for new clients. Once a year, sort through the filing system to remove any unnecessary files. For documents that need to be retained for legal purposes, businesses could designate a filing cabinet specifically for past clients, patients, etc.
Backup Those Digital Files
Save and save often! This is true for online filing systems, too. When cleaning up the office, backup all files, emails and other virtual documents. Some companies might make several file or system backups just to be safe.
Reach Out to Employees
When processes and internal systems need to be overhauled, companies can use the opportunity to give their employees a voice in those changes. Create a poll or a survey for employees to complete and help managers better understand the team’s frustrations with workflow, assignments, processes, etc. These surveys can help companies identify issues they might not have noticed.
Clean Up the Workspace
A cluttered desk can induce stress and anxiety. Clean off the desk and remove unnecessary clutter from the day. A clean workspace can help employees feel calmer and perhaps even more organized. According to a study cited by Harvard Business Review, “...when participants cleared clutter from their work environment, they were better able to focus and process information, and their productivity increased.”
Businesses also can declutter their daily bad habits by exploring task workflow software that streamlines the assignment process and helps employees stay on task and focus on their to-do list. There are many options for this type of software; each product is designed differently, and a company’s budget could play a role in the workflow program choice.
While office spring cleaning focuses on streamlining tasks and processes and cleaning up internal clutter, companies shouldn’t hesitate to grab the broom and dust pan and tackle the other messes that could be causing chaos in the break room or elsewhere. Piles of paper, grimy surfaces and overloaded filing cabinets aren’t conducive to productivity; schedule an office spring cleaning and transform chaos into order.
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Tabetha Sheaver is a CEO, certified EOS Implementer®, project management professional (PMI), and an award-winning business success partner. She helps CEOs regain control of their companies with organizational change management strategies. Helping entrepreneurial leadership teams to be open, honest, and healthy. Tabetha’s experience and insight have made her an in-demand public speaker and presenter nationwide.