Keeping a Clean Virtual (and Physical) Work Environment

What’s the most under-rated productivity hack for virtually any office? A clean workspace! Even though you claim to know where every item on your “organized-disaster” of a desk or desktop is located, we know you really don’t. Instead of wasting your time sifting through documents, we are here to bring you some simple solutions to this widespread epidemic of cluttered desks. Together, we will put the PRO in productivity and boost office efficiency.

Despite the rise of technology, numerous home and professional offices remain engulfed in a sea of paper. However, new products and applications are ready to be used by YOU to digitize your documents and launch into your own paperless revolution! Created by Fujitsu, the ScanSnap iX100 is one of the fastest, smallest portable scanners on the market. Weighing in at only 14.1 ounces, the ScanSnap connects to PC’s or Mac’s wirelessly and can scan a color document in only 5.2 seconds. Do you have a stack of receipts your dreading on scanning in one by one? Then hold onto your hats folks, because ScanSnap also has a dual scan feature and can process two small documents at a time. Boom, double productivity.

Maybe you’re not looking to get a new piece of technology and instead utilize something you already own in a new, awesome way. If you’ve got a smartphone, then we’ve got some apps to tell you about. Let’s start with Google Drive. This storage app is great for managing files and folders that need to be shared with multiple people! In addition, if you have an Android phone or tablet, then you can take advantage of the scanning component embedded within the app! Google Drive will automatically straighten the image and convert it into a PDF. For our IOS users, we recommend the app Scannable (by Evernote), where you can scan receipts, business cards, or documents as JPEGs or PDFs. Likewise, Apple’s IOS 11 has also added document scanning within the Notes app where you can add annotations to your document, export notes as PDFs, and send these documents to any other app on your device. However, keep in mind that these applications will maximize their scan quality to the quality of your phone camera, so you’ll want to check your scans before sending off your stacks of paper to be recycled. Now that we’ve gotten rid of all that paper and saved a few trees, we’re left with a clean desk, or so we think.

A typical office keyboard can carry up to 7,500 bacteria at any given time. Now, I don’t know what you make of that, but we find that just gross. To top it off, studies show the flu virus can stick to desks and electronic equipment for 24 hours. There go your sick days you were saving for that beach trip with your friends, because now you’re stuck at home, actually sick. However, we can prevent this before it happens! Implementing a ‘clean desk’ policy where staff takes 10 minutes every other day to clean their desk with a sanitizing wipe will help to reduce all that gross bacteria. Now, your sick days are back, and the beach is calling your name. In addition, cleaning equipment throughout the office such as printers, monitors, copiers, etc. will help get rid of all that dust and debris hindering your work performance. Plus, the fire marshals in your area will thank you.

Since your desk is now visibly and microscopically clean, you are ready to start working, or so you thought. We can see everything, including those two hundred random document icons you have pinned to your desktop that haven’t been opened in months. Productivity, focus, and time have just left the building because you were too busy searching for the one document you need amidst the one hundred and ninety-nine you don’t. So, let us fix this. Embedded into Microsoft Office 365 is SharePoint Server, where you can securely store files where you and your co-workers can easily locate them, work on them, and access them from any device. Plus, we have the favorites such as Dropbox and Google Drive where you or your office can easily create a filing system and upload documents into organized folders. Now those two hundred icons are slowly disappearing off your desktop to reveal the adorable photo of some puppies you set as your background and haven’t seen in eight months. Congratulations! Productivity and time are at an all-time high! Unfortunately, your focus is still on the cute puppies, but we understand.

Keeping a desk and computer as clutter-free as possible will help put you and your staff into a positive mindset and happier attitude. Plus, you now have a place to finally put your cup of coffee rather than on that stack of papers! We hope these tools, tips, and technology tricks improve the functionality and productivity of your own office!