Guest post by Eleanor Whitney, Managing Editor of All Hands
It’s spring and the urge to turn over a new leaf is strong. While some of us are naturally gifted at keeping our workspace clean and clutter free year-round, others of us need the zeal that comes with spring cleaning for an extra boost.
As an admin, your team relies on you to keep them productive and to create a workspace that inspires their best work. At Managed by Q, the first platform dedicated to office services, we work with thousands of offices around the country to provide the services they need to keep their offices functioning smoothly.
To further support assistants in creating a productive work environment, we’ve compiled some of the best advice from All Hands – a resource for admins, office managers, and anyone who cares about creating a great place to work – on how to keep your space productive so you, and your team, can do your best, most productive work every day.
Tidy Spaces Make Us Happier and More Productive
Clutter is overwhelming and counterproductive. In 2013, The Huffington Post surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. adults and found that 84 percent of respondents who were “recently stressed” worried about their untidy homes. In addition to stress, according to Productivity Consultant and Certified Professional Organizer Kim Oser, a messy office is a recipe for distraction.
“Clutter affects our attention, which sets you back from whatever task you’re working on,” she says. “It’s multitasking, which doesn’t even really exist; task switching is a more accurate term.”
A 2011 Princeton University study backs up her view. According to researchers, nearby clutter is so overstimulating that it often impacts attention and work efficiency.
Make a Plan to Attack Office Clutter Together
If mess and clutter are a challenge in your space, make a plan to systematically address it. Assess your office and find where the problem areas lie.
Take a walk around your space as if you were walking through it for the first time. Is the reception area neat? Is there a clear path when you walk through the office? Do the desks look uniform or haphazard? Is the kitchen counter clear or covered in random dishes and snacks?
Make a list of every problem area and schedule time to tackle them one by one. Approaching cleaning and organizing strategically will increase your chances of success.
Creating a plan to combat clutter in public and storage areas throughout the office will ensure that you, and your team, stays productive and organized after the fervor of spring cleaning has long passed.
Create a Courteous Culture
Even the most organized space can get cluttered if your colleagues don’t agree on what level of cleanliness and behavior constitutes a productive workspace. When you perceive a problem – whether it’s leaving dirty dishes in the sink, or a persistently messy desk – that’s impacting other employees, talking openly and honestly with your team is the best place to start.
The question then becomes whether to do that as a group or on an individual level. Daniel Post Senning from The Emily Post institute advises that teams work together and approach hard conversations with kindness and clarity to address behavior that drags down office productivity.
Working together with a plan and a baseline for decluttering and keeping the office clean will help you focus on your job, and help your coworkers do their best work.
Want more advice about running your office, growing in your career, and improving employee culture? Subscribe to All Hands.
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