Do you love the space you’re in? Take a look around. Do you like what you see? Do you feel good in the space? Chances are, if you aren't enjoying the space in which you operate your business, if it's not functioning well for you,..... You won't want to work in it. It's likely that it is fostering some bad energy. If your office is full of assorted clutter, and there is an accumulated mess of paper and assorted reference books on every horizontal surface, how competent can you really be? Your office is a reflection of who you are. If it’s in disarray, it’s probably not only stressful to maintain any sense of order amongst the constant chaos, but far more challenging to find what you're looking for in a hurry. It's not only costing you time, it’s obstructing your productivity. In particular, if it is a home-office, sans a secretary or assistant, the disorganization can mount into epic proportions. If the work space is not efficient, you will certainly not be working to your full potential. If there is a clog in the work flow system, it will impede on your functionality, for sure.
The ergonomics of the work space is paramount. Your desk must accommodate all that you need to store, file, and refer to. “A place for everything and everything in its place” is a great mindset to design a space. Desks with good compartmentalized drawers, surrounded by ample bookcases, accessible shelving, all contribute to an efficient and professional backdrop for you to be organized and run your business. Magazines, newspapers, and daily reports must have a consistent landing place. A cluttered desk will only clutter your mind. On the desk, there should be an accessible designated area for all writing supplies. Looking for pens, pencils, and message pads should not instigate a scavenger hunt every time the phone rings. Stackable letter trays will organize stray papers and keep the desk tidy. Be sure that your desk matches your needs. If you have the type of business that requires you to spread out your paperwork, your desk should accommodate a sufficient work surface. Sometimes the beautiful desk is not always the practical one. Ditto to the desk chair….It’s essential to have a comfortable and inviting to chair to sit in for countless hours. It may or not be crucial for it to be on wheels, but it is critical for it to be comfy.
Depending on your business, there are different elements that require their own specific design function. “Paper-oriented” businesses’, such as attorneys, financial advisors, medical offices, and insurance brokers, etc. will require a more detailed filing system for paper storage; whereas an art, music, video, or advertising company will involve more specialized storage to facilitate promotional products, equipment, audio and video components, CD’s, etc. Regardless, ineffective and inconvenient storage will only lead to dysfunction. It’s imperative that your space accommodates ALL of your business needs or your business can potentially suffer. Implement extra storage with containers and portable, rolling filing drawers, wherever necessary.
For any business and in any office, managing paper storage proficiently should be a priority. Invest in high quality filing cabinets so they will last longer. Purchasing inexpensive products and equipment for your office (which ultimate translates to your business) will only prove be pennywise and pound foolish. Inferior cabinets will rust and bend and warp, and ultimately affect the way drawers open and close. Small and shallow drawers that do not extend make them difficult and uncomfortable to use. If your systems and products aren’t working well for you, most likely it will frustrate you, and you will not want to continue to use them. There are obvious and dangerous consequences of a broken, worn down file cabinet; you might stop filing and start stacking paper files! Invest in yourself and your business. In the long run, you know it is sometimes necessary to spend money to make the money.
Lighting is also an integral component of optimum workspace design. If your workspace does not have windows or proper lighting, it will negatively impact your working in it, effectively. Poorly lit offices do not exude high functioning environments, and can create chronic eye strain. If you are not fortunate enough to be working near natural lighting or adjacent to a window, there are a multitude of Halogen lamps that provide superior brightness in which to work by.
When designing the workspace, always factor in the future and allow for expansion. Too often the space is outgrown in a short period of time because it was not designed for growth and change.
So make your workspaces succeed for you, and design it so you can engage in it with optimum functionality in mind. If you have to work, you might as well love the space you're in.
This article was written by Nancy Borg, Professional Organizer for the home and Office. Nancy is a proud member of NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) servicing Nassau and Suffolk counties. For further information, visit the website at www.movethemess.com or call 516-458-0324 for a free consultation.