Spring Cleaning Can Help Your Work Life
It’s about that time of the year
where you re-organize your space and clear out the clutter.
Spring cleaning for most looks like cleaning out closets,
cupboards and garages. A lot of people like that feeling of
being organized and prepared for the rest of the year. What if
this could apply to your business? There are many things a
business owner OR employee could do to make the rest of the year
easier and more organized than any year yet.
Think about all the paper that is
stacked all around your workplace. Is it still useful to you? Are
these documents more than 12 years old? Will you ever look at it
again? Scanning documents is the perfect solution if they are
still useful to you. Clearing out this clutter and organizing
documents can make your office feel less overwhelming and more
we love the Fujitsu ScanSnap. It can
handle a big stack of paper – like all those policy
service notices – and you can scan documents to an
attached device, a mobile device via WiFi or even cloud
storage services like OneDrive, Google Docs, etc. The
quality is impressive, even scanned photos look pretty
good. Note: dibroker West has no affiliation with
ScanSnap; we just like the product and wanted to share our
This goes for yourself too! If there’s things still floating
around in your mind about a past mistake or lost sale, let it go.
Focus more on the goals ahead and don’t let the past get in the
way of that.
Your Virtual Desktop
Spring cleaning your work space isn’t
just about tidying up your physical world. Use this opportunity to
organize your computer documents and emails so you can find needed
files easier. If your PC desktop or inbox are cluttered and
disorganized, finding what you need can take much longer.
How to Clean Up Your Virtual Desktop
Reach for the clouds. Free up
valuable storage space on your computer by uploading excess
virtual baggage to the cloud. You’ll appreciate less visual
clutter but you’ll also be amazed by your computers improved
performance. More and more businesses are doing away with onsite
storage and providing cloud-based storage for employees. It’s
affordable, it’s accessible wherever an internet connection is
available and the company will save money not maintaining a
Use folders. Virtual
desktop cleaning isn’t rocket science. It’s just one of those
things people don’t like to do. For many, it seems
counterintuitive to take time away from actual work to organize
but the amount of time saved in the future is worth it. Don’t
make your desktop your de facto filing system.
Create a folder
hierarchy - see our example in the image to the left - that’ll help you stay organized, save time and help
you find what you’re looking for quickly. Try grouping functional areas of your business - for example, marketing and sales, operations, client data, etc. - or another way that makes sense for your situation. Also, repeating folder structure whenever possible is also helpful. For example, at dibrokerWest, we store previous quote requests/proposals in company-wide shared folders. We have separate folders for different kinds of quotes (i.e. GSI/GME cases vs. individual disability cases) but the sub-folders are identical. This repetition creates familiarity; so employees will know how to navigate/search regardless of what they're searching for.
Bonus: if you need to grant
permissions to share documents with others, sharing a group of
documents in one folder – or sharing a group of folders is much
faster. Most systems inherit permissions based on
hierarchy. So if you grant permissions to the “Accounting”
folder (referring to our sample image), those folks will also
get access to the Banking and Statement folders and sub-folders.
Clear your inbox: Do
you have 13,765 emails in your inbox? Now is the time to tackle
that problem! Using your email as a file saving system might
make sense to some, but weeding through the hundreds of unread
emails, marketing emails, replies, forwards, etc. eats up an
incredible amount of time. So, dedicate a couple minutes every
day to whittle down your inbox. Get rid of unread marketing
emails – or better yet, unsubscribe – save the documents you
need in your new file folders and delete the emails.
|When creating your folder hierarchy, you should also think about implementing a
file naming convention. A file name should tell you
what the document is about without opening it. If
you’d like to organize documents or folders
chronologically, consider including the date in a
YYYY-MM-DD format. When you sort your documents/files,
they’ll end up in a nice chronological order.
Make a Plan and Get Started
and organizing should be an ongoing process. Even if your office
has a cleaning crew or service, they probably don’t dust the ins
and outs of every work space. The floor underneath your desk may
get vacuumed every night but the janitorial staff probably won’t
touch a person’s desktop. I’ve worked in large corporate
environments where the cleaning staff did a deep clean a couple
times per year – where employees were asked to clear their
desktops, put everything in a box and leave surfaces easily
Doing the actual cleaning may be what you’re dreading most, but
once all your stuff is cleared and surfaces are tidy, it’ll be
easy. You don’t need to scrub every nook and cranny with a
toothbrush but the job won’t feel 100% complete unless you
actually get rid of the dust.
So, dust off your computer screen, wipe down your desktop and
shake the crumbs out of your keyboard (or use compressed air)
and you’ll be done before you know it. You don’t even need to
worry about spray bottles and rags— a pre-moistened
cleaning/antibacterial wipe is all you’ll need. Besides,
disinfecting surfaces with antibacterial wipes should be part of
your regular routine during flu season and the COVID-19
If you feel overwhelmed when looking
at your space, hire some help. Get your carpets cleaned, have
someone organize for you, or hire a landscaper to make your
office look more appealing from the outside. There’s no shame in
asking for help. When running or working for a business, there
are times where you’re just too busy to clean. Look to an expert
who can aid your frustrations.
Is your mission statement still relevant?
Many of us create business mission statements or business plans,
take them into consideration for a bit and then file them away
and never look at the again. It’s a good idea to revisit these
documents regularly to assess whether your company’s goals and
strategies are still obtainable or if they need some
adjustments. Companies change, consumers change, and the market
changes; that’s just the way it is.
Hold a meeting for your employees and
remind them why they are here and what their purpose is. You
could address any questions or issues from the last year that
can be cleared up for the rest of this year. Being on the same
page as your employees and communicating with them are keys to a
successful business. This also could be a good time to set goals
out loud with your company.
Establishing and maintaining a clean and organized work
space can help boost efficiency and reduce stress. Taking a few
minutes to get things straightened out, creating a plan and
sticking with it can help your business stay on track throughout
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