Your company will only be as efficient as your office. If you spent a lot of time and effort on your business plan, you should spend just as much time organizing your office. Think of the last time you visited someone's office. What were your first impressions of the company? Chances are a good first impression came from a well-lit, clean, organized office, whereas bad perceptions of the business were spurred by a dingy, messy one. Whether it's a simple one-person home office or an elaborate business suite for fifty employees, the way you organize your office will have an impact on every aspect of your business operations and how your employees and customers view your business. Here's how you can organize your office efficiently.
- Organize the desks around your office's document and paperwork flow to make work more efficient. This will prevent confusion among your employees and save you a great deal of time.
- Make room for a common operations area, where all the employees in the office can easily provide daily updates for everyone to see. It can be as simple as a large white board for keeping tabs on orders, or for making announcements.
- Paint the walls of your office in white or neutral shades. As much as possible, choose an office space with a great source of natural lighting. You don't want your employees to feel as if they're working in a box.
- Provide a small but clean and functional kitchen where your employees can make coffee and make small snacks. Make sure it has a sink, drying rack, a refrigerator or water dispenser, a microwave, paper towels, and a track can.
- Keep your restrooms well-lit, clean, and fragrant.
- Set up an office supply closet and keep it well-stocked at all times. Make an inventory sheet and check off any items that were taken so you can order new supplies before they run out.
- Spend on high quality office equipment. Remember: your business is going to grow, and it'd be more cost-effective if your equipment leaves room for expansion. Invest in good computers, expandable telephone systems, and a secure Internet connection.
- If your business requires meetings with clients, your office must have a private conference room, even if it's a small one. The conference room must be comfortable and should keep the clients from seeing confidential information like the whiteboard in the office's operations area. Add a speaker-phone and desktop computer so you can easily make calls or access secure information.
- Make sure your office is located in a physically secure place. Ideally, your office building should have a security guard, a fire and burglar alarm, and a passkey control system.
Don't make the mistake of treating your office set-up only as an afterthought. If planned properly, your business's physical arrangement will make a significant impact on how the company is run, and will influence your employees' and clients' behavior.