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  • Writer's pictureAmelia Curic

The clarity-boosting joy of a tidy workplace

How decluttering your place of work will calm the tides of change - and bring an increase in productivity.

The international juggernaut that is KonMari has transformed homes worldwide. Millions of people are learning how to let go of belongings no longer needed – with gratitude – and how to store their household items in ways that minimise space required.

The result? Independent research and anecdotally, people experience an increase in wellbeing when their homes are tidy. An orderly home means intentionally retaining only items that “spark joy” and a sense of increased calm when they are able to find and use things easily.

The good news is that this approach can be also be applied to workplaces.

We’re not advocating folding techniques, rather a readiness to make changes in the name of usefulness. Time and again, our work and the research tells us: an uncluttered workplace leads to clarity and increased focus.

With a nod to KonMari and from our own experience decluttering workplaces for our clients, this approach broadly follows these simple steps:

1. Assess your usage and workflow

What, by whom and how often are items and spaces actually used? Gather similar things and group them together, if only conceptually, and look at the total. MoveCorp uses a tailor built app, MoveCorp Plus, to provide realtime reports on workplace utilization. When working for clients with thousands of employees, every square metre counts. The same principle can be applied at micro-level, too: do you really two staplers in your drawer?

2. How can we harness technology?

Cloud or intranet based systems have opened up fantastic opportunities to share information in the workplace. Planned and managed with the appropriate security, fast wifi and mobile devices, these systems allow people to access the information they need, work on it and share outcomes with just a few keystrokes. At MoveCorp we’ve helped thousands of clients to abolish clunky, space-consuming, difficult-to-locate paper based filing systems in favour of digitized versions that are quick and easy to utilize.

3. Where else can these items go?

If keeping items, plan where they will be kept according to who uses them and how often. Especially if you’re relocating, you’ll need to know exactly how much storage will be available at the new location. An experienced storage management specialist can assist with gap analysis, file mapping and guiding your team with a structured program of decluttering activities, for example.

Items that are not really needed: can you send them to your other premises, or donate them to charity? Does or could the Admin person have a cupboard for your team? Could items that the whole team uses be shared and stored in a central spot?

4. Plan and communicate the transformation

Often a workplace decluttering program entails changes to workplace practices. It’s important that staff are kept informed, and are consulted on the impacts of these changes, from the outset. At MoveCorp we often develop a strategy for change management and assist with its implementation to ensure all staff are on board with the changes to the workplace.

5. Go!

Once the strategy has been completed and agreed, the analysis done on storage targets and the decluttering program mapped out, it’s time to get underway. You may choose not to thank your lever arch files for their years of service, but we promise – you’ll be thankful for the increased space once they’re gone. And for being able to access the information you need which wasn’t always easily found.

6. Maintain

With careful planning and maximum staff engagement, our clients find it’s actually easy to maintain an ordered workplace. Having a place for everything makes it simple to put things back where they belong, ready for others to use.

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