6 Steps to Spring-Clean Your Office Space for Workplace Transformation

Karen Bannan

Lay the foundation for workplace transformation this spring by sprucing up your office space and clearing away the clutter. Current and potential employees want their workplace to facilitate and reflect their work. In other words, they want an innovative, efficient workplace — and it doesn’t take a lot of time or money to create one. Ridding the office of clutter and trash can help an organization save on real estate costs, and attract and retain better employees. Here are six steps to help your organization begin the journey to workplace transformation today.

1. Clean Off Desktops

Messy office spaces are more than just an eyesore. According to EurekAlert!, researchers at the University of Michigan-Flint and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor found that people assume the owners of messy desks are more neurotic and less agreeable to work with. Help your employees create a cleaner workspace and improve productivity by requesting that they scan or file papers by the end of the workday. Provide scanners and management software to assist this process.

2. Empty the Storage Closet

When organizations buy new furniture, the old stuff often ends up languishing in unused conference rooms or in a supply closet. Retake that wasted space by either selling or donating your old furniture, which will boost your bottom line and free up office real estate to be repurposed or even downsized. If you’re donating, you can look for nonprofits that will give your old office furniture a second life. Organizations such as Goodwill, Furniture Trust and IRN will take your castoffs and put them to good use.

3. Clear Out Old IT Assets

Office chairs and desks aren’t the only relics in an office. Old servers, workstations, storage and peripherals — not to mention routers and telecomm equipment — may be sitting in your IT department taking up space right now. IT equipment that has outlived its usefulness can also be donated, but it’s imperative that all data be extracted first and the devices be wiped. Then, you can hire someone to dispose of your equipment in an environmentally responsible way, or you can donate it to a charity that can repurpose it for an at-risk school or a nonprofit.

4.Digitize Paper Records

The average U.S. office worker generates about 1 1/3 pounds of waste paper daily, according to the Montgomery County, Tennessee government. While experts say it’s difficult to eliminate all paper, your organization can work toward achieving a paper-light office. This entails scanning and storing the majority of documents that come in via postal mail, including invoices, correspondence and contracts, and then shredding them securely. You’ll also want to empty file cabinets, which are likely overflowing, and scan those documents, too.

5. Stop Data Hoarding

A messy computer desktop. Masses of unorganized files. Emails that are 5 years old or older. All of these situations waste time and space for the average employee. Though organizations are required to archive and keep some data, plenty of files can be deleted to open up storage space.

This step involves both IT and individual users. First, IT should send out an email asking employees to pare down their personal files and emails, carefully describing the organization’s retention policies. Set a deadline to give employees a reason to get it done. Once the deadline has passed, IT can start archiving files that should be kept and deleting anything extraneous.

6. Check Your Cloud Storage

Four out of five organizations have a multi-cloud strategy. Though cloud services — especially cloud storage — are a boon for productivity and the bottom line, some organizations get stuck in a set-it-and-forget-it mindset. As the amount of data in the cloud grows, organizations will need to put their cloud assets on their spring-cleaning lists, making sure data is deduplicated, retention policies are followed, and they are only paying for what they actually need.

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