So you’re thinking about setting up office space or revamping your existing office space? Running an office is not just about making sure that the work gets done, It’s also about building a culture and creating a productive environment where you aren’t wasting effort finding stuff or getting your people and machines integrated effectively. Running an office is challenging if you don’t have the right tools, don’t help them communicate, don’t train your people to use them, and don’t have a culture that supports your office staff. That’s why it’s important to know how to manage your office effectively.
Why should you ensure you’re running an office well?
There are a number of reasons why you should make sure that you’re running an office well. Running an efficient office is not just about being productive, it’s also about making sure your employees are happy and work toward a common goal. A happy and productive workforce leads to better work output and higher profits for the company. Some benefits you receive from your workforce when running an efficient office include:
- Employees can focus on their work instead of worrying about the little things in their day-to-day life. Instead of worrying about office politics, for instance, employees can focus on doing their jobs.
- High employee retention rates lead to increased productivity as new hires require a learning period to match the output of the employees they replace.
- Low turnover rates help with budgeting for recruitment costs since the cost of replacing an employee, in addition to the lower productivity, includes advertising, interviewing, and training. According to Employee Benefit News, it costs 33% of an employee’s salary to replace them. Thus, replacing a $36,000 employee costs $12,000 in real terms.
- Good communication generates a sense of community that helps workers support each other. When you have a community among office workers, they pitch in to help ensure projects are completed on time and done right rather than squabbling over responsibility for failure.
- Running an office well means lower stress for everyone involved. Low stress means fewer sick days, improved efficiency, and better health for workers.
- When your office runs well, employees are emboldened to take risks that may result in innovations and process improvements.
Tips for running an office well
1. Managing your people and motivating employees
Managing people well and motivating your employees is one of the most important aspects of running a company as your people are your biggest asset. The key to managing people well is building a corporate culture that makes your employees feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves. Good corporate culture helps you build trust, loyalty, and satisfaction in your team members.
Corporate culture starts at the top and involves more than paying lip service to valuing employees. A reward structure, including both hygiene factors and motivators, helps support your culture and makes employees feel valued.
Delegating responsibilities and matching those responsibilities with compensation establishes a path for success for each employee and avoids turf wars between various employees. Outsourcing some tasks to 3rd parties or gig workers ensures workers do tasks appropriate to their skill set rather than asking them to take on unfamiliar tasks. Outsourcing also results in lower costs as you use partial employees (from a 3rd party) when you don’t require enough work to justify hiring an employee.
2. Ensure workers have the right equipment and supplies
You need to ensure your staff has what they need to get their work done. When it comes to office equipment, there are a lot of choices to make. You have to consider the type of work expected from a worker, your budget, and the size of your business. Some important considerations when choosing office equipment include:
- Capacity, for instance, a copier works best over a given range of copies needed. Buying one that’s too big wastes money, while buying one that’s too small results in higher maintenance costs and downtime that cost money.
- Ease of use. A piece of equipment similar in operation to the one it replaces results in less training and less inefficiency while employees learn to use the equipment.
- Integration. This is a key element in choosing equipment as you need a seamless integration between machines. For instance, I run an IOS office where each employee works from an Apple Macbook, uses an iPhone, and other Apple products. That means all the machines can talk to each other without any issues. We can all share the same software and the interface looks identical on each device so when a worker encounters a problem, another employee can help more easily in solving it. And, if a machine breaks down, we can share equipment while the machine is being repaired without losing any productivity.
- Trying to make do without the right equipment slows down your operation and may make employees feel you don’t value them. By the same token, provide training and incentives for workers to update their skills to get the most from your investment in equipment. I once visited an office where workers took orders in the old paper and pencil format then entered them into the computer system designed to transmit orders seamlessly to production and accounting. When I asked why they were double entering data, they said they didn’t trust the computer system and wanted paper backups. Instead, the firm should have helped workers feel the new system was safe; maybe by running the systems in parallel for some time so workers could see both provided the same results.
3. Use space wisely
Employees also need a place to work and feel comfortable. They need a space where they can get their work done without distractions.
Creating desk space for your employees is essential for creating a productive working environment. It’s important to create a sense of community and make employees feel at home by giving them a place where they can store their belongings and personal items while still being able to have access to everything they need during the day.
Many businesses continue to allow workers to work remotely and there are lots of good reasons for continuing the practice. But, if you have a smaller staff working in the office, you can save a lot of money by moving into smaller office space. So, how do you manage the twin needs for a workspace with a smaller office footprint? Some handle the situation by having employees share a desk, with only one worker in the office at a time. Other businesses went to a coworking model where workers take whichever desk is available on the days they work in the office. If too many workers need desk space, companies can arrange for conference space elsewhere (maybe even in the same building) or shared workspaces.
4. Organization and cleanliness
With the increase in work-related tasks and responsibilities, it is important to organize your office space. If you feel like your office is cluttered and disorganized, here are some tips on how to organize your office.
- Have a system for where things are stored so workers don’t have to hunt for necessary items.
- Keep a small desk, with storage, for each person in the office or assign workers to a desk each time they work from the office.
- Keep a basket for all of the cords that come with computers and band them together so anyone who needs a cord knows where to find one and doesn’t have to untangle the one they need from the bunch.
- Keep a closet for supplies like paperclips, pens, paper, etc. Assign an individual (with another on backup) to maintain the inventory in the closet to ensure you never run out of supplies and to monitor usage so suppliers aren’t wasted.
- Make sure that you have enough storage space for files and paperwork, including digital storage with sufficient security to protect proprietary and personal data.
A clean and tidy office is not just a matter of aesthetics, but it also has a number of health benefits. A clean, orderly office helps reduce stress and anxiety levels in the office. A clean office is not only good for your health, but it also helps you to stay focused on your work. It makes you more productive and creative, as well.
There are many ways to keep your office clean and tidy such as hiring a cleaning service to come in at night and, for busy offices, spot clean during the day. Or assign someone from the team to handle the cleaning regularly or rotate through so each employee takes a turn doing the cleaning. Set policies to make the office a clean and organized environment for everyone’s benefit. For instance, insist that workers dispose of trash, especially food waste, immediately and that each person clean up after themselves in common spaces like a kitchen.
The outside of your operation deserves attention as well unless your rent includes outside maintenance. You need a landscaper to take care of routine mowing and ensure plants are trimmed, watered, and fertilized. You might even want to learn how does vapor abrasive blasting work to see if this is the best choice for cleaning up exterior walkways and buildings.
There are many benefits to running a successful office, including increased productivity, greater workforce satisfaction, and more revenue. When employees have enough space to work in and are afforded the resources necessary for their work, they can be more productive than if they were working in cramped conditions. Employees don’t feel as frustrated when they are able to be as productive as possible because they have the necessary tools and space needed for their work. This leads to less turnover and better morale across the board.
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