4 Ways to Simplify Your Office

home office workers telecommute

Image via Flickr by mccun934

Simplifying your company’s office environment can make your business more efficient. It can also help you save money while boosting employee morale. Consider these 4 techniques to simplify your office.

Store Files Electronically

There are so many problems with paper files. For starters:

  • they take up a lot of room
  • they cost a lot of money to print
  • they take a long time to organize
  • they take a long time to find

Electronic files solve these problems, especially when you store them in the cloud. When you switch from paper to the cloud, you:

  • don’t need all of those file cabinets
  • don’t have to spend money on paper, printers, and ink
  • can organize files instantly
  • can retrieve files instantly

Besides, some research shows that 80 percent of the information companies make is never accessed again. Why keep all of that paper sitting around when you’ll never look at it again?

How can you reduce your office’s paper use quickly?

Start by communicating via email instead of memos, scanning old documents, shredding paper originals to protect private information, finding a reliable cloud service provider that will help you throughout the transition.

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

Research firm Gartner believes that 90 percent of organizations will support BYOD by 2014. Those companies have plenty of good reasons for making the switch to employee devices.

When employees bring their own devices to work, companies get to spend less money on equipment. Plus, employees already know how to use their personal devices. That means human resources doesn’t have to offer as much training, although trainers will have to focus on security measures to make sure BYOD doesn’t lead to information leaks.

Companies also get increased productivity from employees who bring their own devices. On average, companies using BYOD get about 37 additional minutes of productivity per employee every week.

To keep things as simple as possible, companies can purchase the same type of sim card for all employees to use with their devices. That should improve compatibility between devices and give you greater control over information security, and since you own the cards, you can take them back when an employee leaves your business.

Use an Open Office Plan

According to the Wharton School, open-office plans make more out of smaller spaces. When GlaxoSmithKline switched to an open-office plan, it managed to fit 1,300 employees into a facility one-quarter smaller than the previous one.

That means spending less money on office space without firing valuable employees.

An open-office plan takes a fairly radical approach, though. Instead of assigned desks, GSK created “neighborhoods” of desks. Employees were assigned to specific neighborhoods, but they could sit at any table in the area.

Employees were also encouraged to move around the office. If they needed to collaborate on a project, they could gather with colleagues in the cafeteria. If they needed privacy for a phone call, they could find an empty meeting room.

When you switch to this kind of office design, you get plenty of freedom that allows employees and managers to work together without the barriers created by corner offices and cubicles.

Save Space With Telecommuting

You want your business to grow, but growth presents a few challenges, too. As you expand your staff, you could find that your office becomes cramped. Where do you put those new employees without moving to a new, more expensive location? Hiring freelance or work-from-home employees could solve that problem.

Between 2005 and 2011, the number of telecommuters grew from 1.8 million to 3.14 million. Why did companies become so interested in hiring people who work outside the office?

There are plenty of reasons. In terms of simplifying your office environment, though, it’s all about putting employees somewhere away from the office. You can still hold them accountable for meeting deadlines and quotas, so you get the same level of productivity from them as employees working in the office, but you don’t have to pay for the space that they need to work.

Keep in mind that fewer people in your office also means that you spend less money on:

  • utilities
  • equipment
  • insurance

Those expenses quickly add up to huge savings that could help your business thrive. Plus, you get the benefit of a quieter office that doesn’t feel congested and inefficient.

Has your company started looking for ways to simplify its office environment? What are some of the best techniques that you have discovered so far? Which do you think you’ll pursue?

About Calvin Sellers

Calvin Sellers is a freelance writer and graphic designer from Tampa, FL.  Currently he’s working on ways to maximize his phones performance by storing as much as possible on his sim card and eliminating apps running in the background.