No matter how clean or organized an office looks; it really matters more whether there is an efficient system that is behind the pristine impression that is given by the outside appearances of this space. Because most offices are not there to just look at, (although, I have worked with some people who may have believed daydreaming was conducive to being at work) but most offices whether in your home or at work are usually there for a purpose; to get some work done. And the more efficient it is set up, the more time you are not wasting by tripping over 10 cords that are hidden under the rug or rewriting notes with some old No. 2 pencils that need sharpening; or jumping across the room to answer the 4th phone line that was established in 1986 and really should have been ripped about 3 years later.
There are some basics to organizing efficient office spaces; here are a few pointers I have come across:
Time and Simplicity are valuable. That may sound like a duh statement, but it will set a precedence to follow. Don’t over think anything right from the start. Initially go with function and practicality first and you can go with visual attractions later, and don’t forget that as long as you have an efficient system as your base; you can always set it up so that you can change décor and colors and themes as many times as you want to later on.
Be Practical from the beginning: When you are still in your practical planning though; this is the time to make sure you are setting down your foundations for changes that will (as we all know!) inevitably come down the line. Some examples are making sure all of your computer equipment, electricity, any office equipment, even furniture and carpeting you use; all have very easy to access to them for repairs, replacement, upgrades, measurements, emergencies, etc. These points are usually forgotten until something comes up and we all look at each other and say, “Hmmm, we can’t go from point A to point B with that printer, so you need to get all of your printing done at that printer place down the street, yup that is our only solution now because we are trapped!”
Your Office; your style: If you are the only one working in this space it is very important not to follow everyone else’s advice (including my own) on how to set it up for you; unless it really works for you and your needs. But instead take some time and energy to set up your files so that YOU can get at them when YOU need to. The same goes with all electronics, computers, furniture, etc. If you are 4 feet 11 inches tall DO NOT put in any type of system that can only be accessed by pro basketball players. The same with office supplies; just because something is on sale does not mean it is a bargain for you. Look at products and then wait 24 hours before you impulse buy, they will still be there waiting for you to purchase the next day or so.
Of course the more people working in the office the more flexible we have to become; but it can be done. We sometimes just have to remember that wonderful sentiment: not everything in this world is going to be set up for us and us alone. Communicate and reciprocate, help someone organize for their needs and in the process incorporate your needs, it can give you a good feeling if you “choose” not to be a jerk about the small stuff in life.
Sometimes, when you are in a large corporate environment it is common practice to spend a week or more physically hiding all of the “real work being done, etc.” and “spruce the place up just for looks” whenever “corporate muckity mucks” are in town visiting. I have always laughed at this premise because these “corporate office visitors” usually end up stressing everyone out, adding to everyone’s workload and stress level by all of the pretending that they are not overworked and ready to burst at the seams. But you do usually get a few pieces of free pizza in the end . . . I guess. Good Luck with all of your organizing endeavors.