Congratulations! Your company has just acquired a sleek, compact high density storage system to replace that bulky, unattractive space hog of a “filing farm.” Now what? How do you organize that new system to reap the maximum benefits for you, your co-workers, and the business?
- Use your imagination – Close your eyes and imagine where you would instinctively look for certain files. Do some files need to be in a special “ready access” section? Can others go into a deep archive?
- Purge – Moving from old file cabinets to a high density system is the perfect time to ditch unneeded, outdated documents, non-functioning office equipment, and that super-size box of floppy disks from 1996 (we’re not judging!).
- Communicate – Unless you’re the only person who uses the storage system, your colleagues need to know how to file and retrieve properly. Post the instructions where everyone can see them, so your beautiful organizational system doesn’t fall into chaos.
- Be consistent – Speaking of chaos, maintain a consistent filing schedule (daily? weekly?) to avoid the filing nightmare of unsorted, unfiled documents stacked on every flat surface.
- Measure your success – Keep track of how much faster you and your co-workers are able to find essential documents, and file them again when the task is completed. If the system needs to be tweaked, you’ll know where to adjust. Most important, you’ll be able to chart the cost/benefit of your new, efficient filing system.
Organizing your organization system takes forethought, communication, and methodical consistency, but it’s well worth the initial effort. And the payoff – efficiency, lower real estate costs, better document security – goes straight to your company’s bottom line.
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Business owners and facilities managers are embracing the benefits of new flexible workspaces – maximized space utilization, minimized build-out costs – but for many workers, changing the old office environment may be an unwelcome update. Without an enthusiastic majority eager for change, facilities professionals will find it hard to implement any meaningful transformation. How can you get your fellow employees to buy in?
We humans are notoriously resistant to change. We fear the unknown. Facilities managers will find it much easier to allay people’s fears and reap the benefits of the adaptive office if they adopt these three management roles recommended by John T. Anderson:
- The Business Strategist – “What is our overall business strategy, both outward facing (clients and recruitment) and inward facing (productivity, continuous improvement, and retention)? How do our people support the business, and how does the facility support our people?”
- The Information Specialist – “What does the data show about the way people work together? How do we position people and departments so they interact smoothly and efficiently?”
- The Marketing Communicator – “What is the best way to communicate with my target market – the employees – and how do I make sure they feel their voices are heard and their needs are addressed?”
Facilities professionals are accustomed to managing the built environment, and may not always think in terms of managing people. But when change is on the horizon, a personnel-management perspective will make the transition a successful one. Reach out to a designer who specializes in the adaptive workplace to get more information on making your change a positive one.
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