A healthy mind in a healthy body. Sounds familiar?
What if we applied this philosophy to our work environment?
1. Paring down our work space. Paring down our work space certainly creates a nicer visual effect, but it also allows for better organization and reduced stress. A healthy mind in a tidy office. This also applies to paper clips, brochures, the empty morning coffee cup or the most-recent promotional item left by a supplier, as an example.
2. Going digital and reducing paper. As mentioned in item #1, working in a clean environment has multiple benefits. In addition, digital files offer simpler and faster filing, as well as alert options to prevent oversights.
3. Keeping trash and recycling bins close at hand. If we need to get up a dozen times per day in order to drop something in the trash or recycling bins, the unproductive time accumulates quickly. Moreover, for environmental reasons, we make sure to keep the two baskets at hand.
4. Keeping only the pens and pencils that actually work. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to take an important note with a dried-up pen. Not only are we wasting time looking for another one, but the added delay increases our chances of forgetting the information before we can write it down.
5. Paying attention to lighting. When at work, all our senses are solicited, especially our eye-sight. There is evidence that sufficient light increases productivity, while dimmed lighting encourages relaxation and procrastination. Ideally, natural light is favored.
6. Choosing a comfortable chair. Considering we will be spending many hours in this chair, it is important to choose one that will meet both our comfort and physical health requirements. Better to invest a few additional dollars at the outset and avoid spending them later at the chiropractor’s office.
7. Hiding cumbersome devices. Specially designed furniture is available to cover large pieces such as a printer or scanner. In addition, a shift to digital will certainly reduce the need for these devices; all the more reason to store them out of sight!
8. Labeling cables and chargers. Initially, when setting-up the connections, everything seems obvious. However, for unexplained reasons, the cables and wires always end up entangled. By labeling them at the start, we save considerable time in deciphering the potential cable-puzzle.
9. Storing unused cables. These may be from our previous smart phone charger or for the printer that we use only a few times a year. Storing all these in one place avoids a long search when one is needed.
10. Using drawers wisely. It is good practice, a few times a year, to clean out the desk drawers in order to get rid of the unnecessary items. Use them wisely, either to store smaller paper formats or items that can get lost easily such as USB flash drives.