It’s officially the start of spring, which means it’s time to think about spring cleaning your office systems (although Wikipedia thinks Kiwis like to do ‘New Year’s cleaning’ – I’ve never heard of this!). Here are 5 ways to help get your workspace – both physical and digital – more organised and decluttered before summer arrives:
1. Sort out your inbox
Are you an ‘inbox hoarder’? According to this survey, the average inbox contains about 8,000 messages and 37 folders, while 90% of inboxes contain more than 15 unread messages. A surprising 20% contain more than 21,000 messages. If your inbox is stressing you out, now is the perfect time to start clearing it out.
A good tip to get you started is to sort your messages by sender – this way you can delete in bulk all the emails you know are irrelevant, like reminders from your kids’ schools, promotions from suppliers and social media invites.
2. Have only what you need at arm’s length
When sorting out your physical desktop is to remove anything from your immediate reach that you don’t use every day. If it’s not something you’re going to reach for at least once a week, it should be sorted into a box or onto a shelf for when you do need it. This makes your desktop cleaner and smarter – and it may impress your colleagues, too. One survey found 57% of employees judged co-workers by how clean they keep their workspaces.
3. Disinfect your surfaces
Computer keyboards and mobile phones contain more bacteria than toilet seats, but we never seem to get around to cleaning them. Spring clean your keyboard by disconnecting it, tipping out the crumbs, then rub with disinfectant wipes. Wipe your phone and iPad, too. Improve the situation by not eating in front of your computer and not using your digital devices when you’re in the bathroom.
4. File in the cloud
From receipts to timesheets to notes, you can make the paperless office a reality. We’ve been working on becoming a paperless operation since 2002 and it’s revolutionised the way we do business. We no longer have to fork out for storing hundreds of boxes of paperwork and our spaces are neater and more organised, unlike the guy in this photo.
Look for some of the Xero add-ons for managing your records. For instance, WorkflowMax will sort out your timesheets, Receipt Bank will store your receipts from your phone or computer, and Xero can track all your inventory and accounts.
5. Sort out your computer desktop
Desktop clogged with icons and files? This can be distracting and inefficient. File your individual items into folders and reduce your desktop clutter to a few well-chosen items. You can even spruce up your icons by downloading some free new icons – there are some amazing icon sets here; my favourites are these cute and colourful mushrooms, but there’s something for everyone here.
By Trina Newby.