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How to keep an organized and efficient office

Whether your business is newly established or long running at one time or another each office must face the challenges of becoming and staying organized and efficient. The flow of business (and cash) is severely disrupted when an office is running inefficiently. Many times morale among staff suffers as everyday task seem monumental due to lack of organization. By making just a few changes organization can be increased and along with it most importantly productivity. Here are some tips on how to keep an organized and efficient office.

1. Create a defined space. Chaos just seems to flow when there is not real organization or a place where things are supposed to get done. If your office does a lot of copying create a copy space. Group printers, copiers and the needed supplies together so that staff is not running through the office looking for copy paper or toner. If your office needs large spaces for layout have tables and good lighting that allows for items to be laid out and collated quickly and most importantly correctly. If you have staff members whose jobs are interconnected place their offices or cubicles close together so that valuable time is not wasted while trying to track another person down. Take some time to absorb what are the vital functions of your office and see if grouping together or rearranging functions will improve organization and efficiency. And then once an area is established make sure that everyone knows it designated purpose. Insist that staff keep areas clean and organized. Clutter and trash is distracting. A clear workplace makes for clear thinking.

2. Use whatever technology is available. Technology has been one of the major driving forces in improving the efficiency of business offices. Make sure to take full advantage of any applicable technology that will help you stay organized and get more accomplished. Virtual communications has probably become the biggest factor that has allowed so many people to increase their productivity and efficiency. There is also of course the whole World Wide Web, email, instant messages, virtual phones, cell phones, virtual fax, video conferencing, and the list goes on and on. All of these technologies make increasing organization and efficiency much easier.
3. As the office or business manager it is up to you to set the tone for efficiency. One of the best ways to do this is to keep deadlines. This forces the staff to work on projects that come up without regard to preference, finish a project in a timely manner and then move on to the next project. There are also a lot of time management programs out there and most email programs even have task lists. Be sure and take advantage of them. One of the major advantages about these kinds of programs is that they will remind you when your deadline is approaching and will keep popping up in your face until you finish the task. Determine what method works best for your staff and the objectives of your company. The most important thing is to keep your action items written down and stick to your deadlines.
4. Do not be afraid to involve staff in your attempts to improve productivity and organization. Have meetings both informally and formally that will allow staff members to give their ideas on how to improve the office. Those who are doing the jobs may have the best insight on how to improve your office's organization and efficiency. To stir up even more enthusiasm offer rewards or incentives for staff members who can come up with ideas that will improve the office and rewards for those who adhere to the new ideas. You may just find that a whole new way of doing things has dawned in your workplace and organization.


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