Some of us have been working at home for over two years. The time has come for many of us to return to the office, even if it is on a flexible schedule.
That will require us to have a good hard look at how we’ve been keeping our workspace now that we are returning to the office. Not everyone had dedicated space for their home office, and because there was no one to see the mess or clutter, things didn’t need cleaning up at the end of the day.
Now, some of us are returning to an office that doesn’t have dedicated office space for you. You’ll find a desk to work at, and it will be your desk for the day. The next day you’re in the office, will work at a different desk. You’ll work where space is available and not in “your” space. FYI, this is called hot-desking or hoteling.
This means we need to have some tips for keeping our workspaces clean and organized regardless if you are working hybrid, hoteling, or returning to work full-time.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”1K0kb” via=”yes” ]Returning to the workplace means we need to have some tips for keeping our workspaces clean.[/ctt]
Not only do we need to be organized, we need to be aware of the message our mess and clutter is sending others. If someone things you are messy and unorganized they will not trust you to do what you need to do (even if you prove them otherwise.)
Not sure that what I’m saying is true? Close your eyes and think of the messiest workspace you’ve ever seen. What do you assume about the person who works there?
You may say to yourself, “Yes, they are messy, but…” and then defend them. But remember, that person had to prove to you their mess didn’t impact their efficiency. Not everyone will give you the opportunity to prove it. Some people will say, “Yes, they are messy. I don’t know how they get their work done, and they would be more efficient if…”
[ctt template=”3″ link=”6x3Bz” via=”yes” ]Close your eyes and think of the messiest workspace you’ve ever seen. What do you assume about the person who works there?[/ctt]
Getting organized: quick tips
- Use colour-coded folders, Post-It notes, pens, and anything else that will help you see at a glance where to find what you need when you need it.
- Pile if you must, but try to avoid collecting piles of information. Perhaps invest in a vertical hanging file folder
- Put things away. Even if you have messy drawers (or case to bring your items to and from the office), put your pens, staples, extra notes, paper clips, and other bits away. Getting them out of an (organized) drawer or briefcase won’t take long.
- Clean up before you leave each night. Many people keep different hours than you, and by leaving your desk in a messy state, you are leaving a message about yourself, even when you are not there.
I understand that you are busy. I understand clutter. I even fall victim to it. However, being busy and cluttered doesn’t have to mean being unprofessional and unorganized. You want to give the message at work that you’ve got it together.
Make sure your desk is reflective of your personality and reflective of your professionalism and efficiency. It shouldn’t be reflective of your workload. Just because you have a lot to do doesn’t mean it should look like a tornado hit.
As we return to the workplace, we need to develop some new habits. Keeping your workspace tidy and uncluttered is an easy start.