The right environment can have a direct impact on how people work. Cramped spaces, disorganized file cabinets, and cluttered desks can create the feeling of stress and even impede workflow. Cleaning and tidying up is a simple solution to the problem, but the secret to efficiency and productivity might be found in a different approach.
Minimalism is a philosophy that encourages you to keep only what you need and eliminate everything else.
This may sound straightforward enough, but anyone who’s ever had to organize a disorderly office knows the anxiety that comes from going through messes and deciding what’s worth keeping, donating, or discarding altogether.
When creating your very own minimalist workspace, you don’t have to ‘get it right’ the first time. Feeling out how a space affects your work, how you want to decorate, or even the best way to organize your files comes with actually operating in that space—it’s a constant endeavor that takes time but certainly can boost your productivity.
Now that you’re ready to take your spring cleaning a step further, without further ado, here are our 4 quick tips to becoming an office minimalist.
First, observe how your workflow is affected by the office space. Is there a lot of clutter? Are there pieces of equipment or tools that never get used but are left out to collect dust? When you need something, can you easily find it? Asking these questions and more will help you identify what needs to change.
Remember, a good rule of thumb is that if there’s any environmental-based frustration, chances are, you’ve identified some room to go minimalist.
Stacks of receipts and filing cabinets full of documents can be eliminated once you scan the paperwork into a digital format.
Reference materials like books and manuals are easily accessible online. Emails, text messages, and even faxes have online portals for users to view them.
To ensure you don’t ever lose all your files once digitized, backup and store copies of everything with a cloud storage service.
Getting rid of your printer and scanning your paper documents are big strides toward becoming paperless. But there’s more you can do.
For one, stop bills and notices from coming to your door by signing up to receive them online instead. Most companies recognize that cutting down on paper waste saves on postage and helps save time by being immediately available online. Take advantage of companies that offer these services because it will also cut down on your own frustration of having to store these notices and eventually clean them out.
When reducing paper usage, it makes sense to also cut down on pens, markers, staplers, and printing supplies to make room for technology that will take its place. Check to see if any of these items can be recycled or donated before placing them in the garbage.
If your work requires you to have a copier in your office, then by all means, have one. In fact, have two if you really need them! Just be frank in your assessment of what you actually need and what you don’t.
Minimalism is not about discarding everything in sight or simply keeping things that bring you joy. It’s about streamlining and simplifying your office space to improve workflow and maximize productivity. And that is something you can do step by step – one desk drawer at a time.