When you work in a bustling office setting, keeping everything organized can become difficult, especially if you don’t quite know where to start. After interning for both lawyers and business owners, I’ve come to understand the many benefits of staying organized, as well as the uncertainty of not having the structure that organization brings. With this in mind, here are three tips that will make life at the office easier for you, and your coworkers:
- Label everything
The first thing to note when organizing your office, is that labels are your best friend. Make sure that they’re visible, easy to read, and if possible, detailed. An unclear label defeats the purpose of having a label. For example, a file reading “disclosure” is not as effective as a file reading “completed disclosure forms”. Small changes like these will save you, and your coworkers, a lot of time, stress, and confusion, and will make sure that nothing important gets lost in the shuffle.
- Create a system that anyone could follow
Having everything organized in a way that’s best for you is certainly nice, but if you want to ensure that it stays well organized, consider a system that is easy for anyone to adapt to. Should your system become too complicated, you may find it becomes innocently disorganized in other’s attempts to help or find what they need. To avoid this chaos, always remember that someone completely unaware of how you’ve organized something should have your system figured out at a mere glace. Organizing something alphabetically or by date are means that are both common and effective. Consistency is also important. Once you commit to an organization strategy, follow through with it. For example, if you’re filing member agreements alphabetically by last name, make sure that all the member agreements are filed this way. This will help you avoid losing something important, and help you find something quickly.
- Communication is key
Much like anything, communication is the key to maintaining organization in an office space. Be sure to inform your coworkers if you’re borrowing or moving something and put it back where you found once you’re done. In the case that you are reorganizing, keep your coworkers in the loop, and be sure to work together to create a system that works best for everybody. Everything will be more likely to stay organized this way, and you’ll ensure that the new system is something everyone can maintain.
Organization is far from universal. There’s a different system in every office, at every desk space, perceived differently by each individual. While it’s certainly difficult to find a system to please everyone, it is important to take the majority into consideration, to make everything easy and accessible. It will not only make your life easier, but it will also improve efficiency, and moral, at everyone’s desk.