Fed up of feeling like you never get anything done? Or before you start on something, you need to re-order stuff and move things around? Time is a valuable commodity. The quicker you can get a task completed, the sooner you can move on to something else. In many cases, we end up spending far too much on doing business admin things that whilst important, do not make us money. Organising, managing and general business administration should flow smoothly, taking as little time as is needed.
Here are five great time-saving hacks for your busy office:
1. Specific things in specific places
We waste a lot of time not being able to find something. It could be the black ink cartridge when the printer is out of ink, or having to find the key to store room at the end of the hallway to get a ream of paper when the printer is out of paper.
If you can’t find things, you need to get organised. And there are all kinds of ways you can do this:
– Keep things that are used or need to be accessed frequently in easy to reach places – hang up keys or have a specific drawer to keep them in
– Desk tidies are a great way to keep the basics in one place on your desk, especially if finding a pen or pencil when you need it is almost impossible
-Paperwork piles up and this clutter stops you from using space efficiently. Find the best way of storing paperwork and important documentation, like a filing cabinet, and shred what you don’t need to keep
– Don’t leave things hanging about when you have finished with them – put them back where they belong and when you come to use them next time, they will be where you left them
2. Go digital
On the last point of paperwork, unless there is a legal obligation, working on paper is now old school. As well as being cheaper and part of your drive to safe the trees on this planet, going digital is a far more convenient way for people to work.
There are all kinds of sharing platforms, such as Google Drive or Microsoft One Drive that makes storing and sharing documents so much easier. Instead of 10 people having a printed document and all making changes on their individual copies, staff can add their comments on one centrally accessed digital copy.
A far neater and more efficient means of working.
3. Planning and scheduling your workload
One of the biggest impacts on your time at work is not knowing how much work you have to do, and when it needs doing by.
You can only plan your time if you know what it is you have to achieve and by when. For some people, this means visually displaying what they need to do and then, when a task has been completed, it can be crossed off.
A whiteboard that has upcoming events and tasks is one way of doing this – it’s incredibly satisfying to wipe off a task when completed – or you can harness the power of online diaries and work planning platforms. Choose a digital platform that everyone can access and synchronise to their own individual calendars.
4. Combine equipment
There are all kinds of office equipment that you need but if you have a separate item each task, your office will soon be swamped with gadgets and gizmos. Where you can, opt for equipment that provides more than one function, such as pens that have more than one colour in the barrel – so instead of four different colour pens, you have one.
Instead of three separate pieces of technology – printer, fax and scanners – it can be worth investing in one piece of kit.
5. Plan the office layout
Things change so just because the desks have been in situ since 1988 in a certain pattern doesn’t mean that the pattern is still working today. Technology changes – in most cases, it has shrunk – and so the worktop space you needed five years ago, may not be needed now. You may have more people working in the office or less.
For an office to run smoothly, it needs to flow. But when you are busy and the office cluttered, the last thing you and your team might feel like doing is having a de-clutter and moving desks about but trust us, it is time well spent as you can create new work islands in your work space that promote business admin perfection.
We wish to thank NCC Home Learning for their research material and they say being organised and planning is key to effective business admin, something a student understands.