A Guest Post by Craig Middleton
The modern business world is incredibly fast-paced and ever more demanding for our limited time. There is more to do in a day than seems possible to manage. It can feel overwhelming to look at your work and your company’s work and imagine how everything can come together. The solution is to introduce efficiency through organization. Creating well-organized workspace fosters collaboration, efficiency, and productivity. Let’s run through some practical pieces of advice that can benefit your company space.
The Physical Space
Let’s start with the simplest aspect of your company’s physical space. Your desk. How easily can you find what you store in your personal workspace? Does your desk look like a garbage heap of paper, mail, and a computer? Or does your desk area promote focus and the linking of tasks? Does how you keep this personal area reflect how you take on work, complete it, and move on to the next task? Getting more organized starts with getting your area organized. From there you can look at your company’s space in a more holistic sense.
Modern business is becoming more collaborative with each passing year. The power of your team is in no uncertain terms the power of your company. Is their space arranged to help them communicate and collaborate? There is an ongoing debate about the utility of open office work environments with few to no barriers separating employee workspaces. While in theory, this practice benefits collaboration it can also disrupt focused work. Work closely with your teams to understand how their spaces can be laid out to promote productive interaction as well as have the ability to focus and eliminate distractions.
The Temporal Space
Beyond the tidiness of desks and the layout of workspaces is how time is used around the office. Everyone at the company is incentivized to use their time to the best of their ability and maximize their daily productivity while actively collaborating with coworkers, clients, and vendors. The big question to consider here is how much of everyone’s time is consumed by meetings. If more than 20 percent of your people’s’ time at work is spent in meetings, then your collaborative processes may need some tidying. Your meetings will become fewer and more effective with specific agendas, hard start and stop times, and scheduled follow-ups through non-meeting channels (think email or group messaging tools like Google Hangouts or Slack). Many meeting scheduling tools default to hour-long blocks, so make sure to only schedule the time you intend to meet for.
On an individual level, make sure your calendar reflects how you want to take on your full day of tasks and meetings. Don’t just keep an ever-growing to-do list; migrate those tasks to a date and time so you know when they will get done. Take ten minutes at the end of your day to schedule a time for every important task you need to address the next day.
The Digital Space
Businesses rely on digital spaces to keep company assets organized and managed. Your teams will rely on digital storage to share work and other company items. These spaces need to be arranged in a way that lets everyone easily find what they need and share it with co-workers. The more material your team creates and stores digitally, the more robust this organization needs to be. Consider digital asset management (DAM) solutions for organizing your teams’ work. DAM software gives your company the ability to cleanly organize, manage, and interact with high volumes of digital files. Many companies stop at just providing storage space whether through the cloud or through a dedicated file server. DAM software takes that storage space to the next level giving your team the ability to more cleanly manage and interact with digital files.
The more you keep your company organized the greater your productivity will be. Consider ways to keep your physical, temporal, and digital spaces tidy and you will reap the benefits of greater efficiency and productivity.