Office managers are the heart and soul of a company, and they are what keeps the growth of the company headed in the right direction while overseeing all the critical day to day operations and so much more. So, it is only fair to assume that they will want to find as many ways possible that they can become more productive and more efficient at what they do.
The following are just a few tips and tricks you can take as an office manager to become even more efficient and productive throughout the day:
You Don’t Have to do it by Yourself
Just because you are the office manager, it doesn’t mean you have to feel as if you have to take on everyone’s job as well as your own. Delegation is a critical skill to master as an office manager. Outsourcing certain jobs is also another way you can free up your time, so you can focus more on what you really need to get done.
You can even outsource tasks such as cleaning and maintenance to an outside vendor, so you can be assured that the office will be clean and organized and you don’t have to add it to your already extensive to-do list.
Plan and Prepare
When you make a plan and prepare for the plan, you will find that the organization is key to not wasting a single moment of your day. Office managers are constantly interrupted, and when you make a plan, you can also account for a little extra time to cover those interruptions and disruptions you may experience throughout the day.
Prioritize your tasks for the day and then do what you can. Don’t feel as if you have to answer every email and every phone call immediately. Do what you prioritized first, and then go back and cross off the smaller items.
The Bottom Line
As an office manager, you may be too busy to realize that you are too busy. Meaning, you might not be able to see how your workload may be affecting your overall productivity levels. Take some of the tips mentioned above and give them a try and see if by freeing up some time, delegating and outsourcing tasks, and prioritizing tasks will help you get more of the important things done while still keeping communication open with the other employees that may need you.
Window cleaning is one janitorial aspect of office life that can be easily overlooked among the hustle and bustle of other daily tasks and smaller cleaning jobs. However, it is one of the most important places to remember to clean regularly because the windows of the office are just one of the many visible features of the building.
Enhance Curb Appeal
One of the biggest advantages of window cleaning would be the increased curb appeal you offer the office space. People will walk up to the building and see a business that takes pride in what they have which will also translate to a more professional level with their reputation and performance.
It will go a long way to improve your brand image and leave a positive and lasting impression on clients or potential clients visiting the office.
Another advantage of regular window cleaning services would be the increase in productivity levels you see. The clean windows will let more natural light into the space, and the clean and fresh appearance and brightness will have your employees performing at optimal levels.
Lengthen the Life of the Windows
As with regular maintenance on nearly anything in the office from the carpet to equipment, regular maintenance and cleaning of the windows can go a long way in improving their durability and lengthening their longevity.
Cleaning them often gives them no time to accumulate dust, dirt, and other debris, which when left unnoticed can result in earlier deterioration of the window and insulation.
Just like when the productivity is improved, you will also see a boost in energy and morale in the workplace due to the presence of the natural light and the unobstructed view that clean windows can offer an office space.
Gone are the days of dingy and muddied windows that do nothing but cloud the office vibe. Clean windows provide the office with a more positive atmosphere that is conducive to a more productive, energetic, and healthy workplace.
Hiring a Cleaning Service
Many businesses find that there just is not enough time in the day to accomplish everything they need to do. Therefore, hiring a professional cleaning service to come in and take care of the window cleaning for you can save you both time and money in the long run and you can begin experiencing all the advantages that cleaner windows have to offer.
The office environment is seeing many new trends when it comes to workplace design and functionality, and among these trends, we see growing popularity for the sit-stand workplaces.
When an employee has the option of movement and variety, they are essentially avoiding any adverse health effects that they may otherwise experience with the traditional desk. Regular movement encourages productivity and makes for a much healthier and happier work environment.
What is a Sit-Stand Workstation?
This type of workstation strays from the traditional desks that are often used. This type of desk allows you to stand while still being able to work comfortably at the space and computer. They are also adjustable so that you can find the perfect height as well as alternate between standing and sitting.
The following are a few benefits you can find with a sit-stand workstation:
–Lower your risk of weight gain: you can burn more calories when you are free to stand and move around while at your desk. It has been shown that you can actually burn up to a thousand calories more when you stand at your desk, rather than sit.
–Reduce back pain: if you sit all day at a desk, then you have probably complained about back pain at least once. Standing at the desk can help reduce lower back pain significantly and can even improve an already sore back
–Improve mood and energy levels: when you are able to stand at your desk, your energy levels will improve which will ultimately improve your mood because you do not feel confined to the space. You are free to move instead of remaining sedentary.
–Boost productivity: some may say that a sit-stand desk can hinder certain workplace tasks such as typing at a computer. However, it has been found that it actually helps improve productivity, rather than quenching it because of the improved mood and energy levels you experience
So, if you find that employees are looking a bit sluggish and drained, or they are complaining of lower back problems, then considering the many health benefits of a sit-stand desk may be the right decision to improve your employees’ overall health, happiness, and well-being while in the office.
Many workplace design trends are currently circulating, and these trends lend to improved employee engagement and increased productivity levels. Newer and more modern workplace design can mean a drastic difference in the way the work day goes and can change the way people work together.
Therefore, it is essential to know what your employees need and want, so you can ensure that they are performing at their best and have higher morale. The days of closed in and isolated cubicles are a thing of the past. Now we welcome a more collaborative and open workplace design for employee engagement and retention.
Why is Workplace Design Shifting?
Workplace design trends are evolving due to shifts in demographics, the increasing use of technology in the workplace, a shortage of talented and qualified employees, financial factors, and data from analyses that discovered how design affects their employees.
All of these factors came together to show us the need for a workplace design that can keep up with the employees and stay in line with the way business is growing and evolving.
Flexible and Focused Design
Having a flexible and more focused workplace design allows the space to become easily adaptable for the employees. It also allows for room to improve when it comes to the constantly changing needs of the company or the needs of the next big project.
For a more interactive setting, having a comfortable and open place for employees to meet and discuss projects is a good way to encourage a social and team-based environment. Have furnishings that come together and work in the space and are easy to move around.
Having an activity-based design means that you are effectively creating a more collaborative environment that provides functional spaces for employees to gather. While you still maintain private office space and conference space, you are also providing an open and inviting space. Having a mix of all these will ensure that you have a functional and versatile space that works for everyone’s needs.
These designs are typically modular, just like the flexible design already mentioned. It is a way to have a multipurpose workstation that is easy to access and can be moved to any location that is desired. It can combine the conference room with the open and collaborative environment if needed.
Finally, when you come up with a more interactive workplace design, you are also finding ways to improve movement and ultimately improve the wellbeing of your employees. Sit-stand desks are great to include in a workplace because they encourage movement and physical activity. Movement can also encourage productivity, boost energy levels, and reduce stress.
If the workplace is not adequately and appropriately utilized, then you may see rising costs and unforeseen expenses. You may find that you have space that is being wasted or you may not have enough space to do what you need to do. Either way, it can cause problems that can be easily avoided with the right workplace utilization metrics in place.
Find a More Efficient Use for the Space
You want to make sure that every available square foot of space in your office building is being utilized as much as possible. Doing so can help provide a more agile work environment that is more conducive to improved productivity.
When you walk through the office, what do you see? Are there vacant desks or unused office furniture or machines cluttering the space? If so, will removing them provide you with the opportunity to use the space for something more important?
Encourage Collaboration and Creativity
When you have an office space that is utilized properly, then you will find improved collaboration among the employees and increased levels of creativity. Make sure you have comfortable and open areas the employees can gather to discuss new strategies or other work-related tasks.
Do you have a meeting room available for private gatherings or to provide a more isolated and quiet environment? Having these things all show that you are using your office space effectively so that it suits the needs of your employees.
Finally, if you have a space that is utilized to its fullest and provides a comfortable, balanced, and flowing work environment, then employees are more likely to stick around. A modern and comfortable aesthetic can encourage employees to be their best and perform at optimal levels.
Measuring Workplace Utilization
Now that you understand the importance of proper workplace utilization, you need to know how to measure it.
To measure, you need to answer the following questions:
- How often is each space in the office used and what percentage of the space is often occupied?
- What are the times and days that these areas are being utilized the most?
- Are there times when certain areas are not used at all during the week or the day?
- Each desk should have an employee- how many empty desks do you currently have?
- How often are your shared spaces being utilized? For example, conference rooms.
Answering these questions will give you a better idea about how each space in the office is used so you can come up with a plan to make these spaces more effective or eliminate these spaces to make room for more productive areas such as a seating area for clients or worktables for a more open and collaborative environment.
Cleanliness etiquette is a concept that can be easily lost on some people, but it is an important concept that every employee in a workplace environment should adopt to help ensure a clean and functional environment for a more positive workday experience.
Do You Often Eat at Your Desk?
Have you found yourself sitting at your desk, frantically trying to finish up your work, so it is done properly and on time, but you also find that you will need to have a “working lunch” in order to do so? Then you may make the decision to eat at your desk to eliminate losing any valuable time.
But, when you eat at your desk, what you do with the garbage and discarded food products? Do you throw them into your waste bin at the desk or dispose of them elsewhere? The office trash can is not meant for this kind of garbage.
Proper etiquette says if you are going to eat at your desk, then you need to dispose of the trash in a designated trash can that is appropriate for this kind of waste- such as the breakroom trashcan.
Clean and Declutter Your Workspace
Most offices have a cleaning company that comes in at the end of the day to clean up the office. Proper etiquette teaches us that we should clean off our workspaces and declutter as much as possible, so the cleaning company can wipe down the desk and other areas without running into a bunch of obstacles along the way.
Working While Sick
Several of us have probably gone into the office even though we weren’t feeling at our best. So, while we think we are looking like the model employee that can suck it up and still do the work, we are actually putting others in the office at risk for the same sickness.
The office should be a clean, healthy, and safe environment for everyone. If you are feeling sick, then proper precautions should be taken to help keep everyone else healthy. Wearing a mask to cover your face, for example, is good to do if you can’t miss work and have to be there instead of staying home. You will keep the germs to yourself.
Following workplace etiquette regarding cleanliness can definitely help ensure that the workplace environment is a clean and positive environment for everyone. When everyone feels at their best, you will also see a boost in morale and productivity.
With the many advancements in technology and the evolution of the internet, we see several ways that artificial intelligence (AI) can drastically change the future of workplace productivity. The digital transformation that AI awards us will change the way we do business and interact with clients and ultimately change the way we operate as a company.
What is AI?
AI makes it possible for machines to learn and adjust to performing tasks that were set aside for humans to perform. Technologies like deep learning and natural language processing help make this possible, and when programmed, the data and patterns can be used to train so that machines can continue to accomplish these tasks.
AI can achieve accuracy because of image classification and object recognition and can adapt through progressive learning algorithms, can add intelligence to already existing products, and can also automate repetitive learning and discovery through data.
How AI Improves the Workplace
When you need to analyze data on a larger scale, AI makes this easier to accomplish. AI can even detect certain patterns that the human eye may miss.
AI also means advances in the marketing segment of a company as they can build digital experiences and harness improved communication efforts between the company and its customers.
It is also being used to secure the digital workplace by providing different ways to secure devices and information by requiring more involved recognition steps such as face validation and fingerprint scanning.
Finally, meeting ergonomics can also see major improvements when AI is implemented in the workplace, meetings become more productive and engaging because of the ability to use video so even if you are not in the office, you do not have to miss a meeting.
The Future of AI
With the advances being made to digital platforms and the implementation of AI, the future for the workplace is bright. AI can help effectively eliminate busywork so that our employees can focus on bigger and more important tasks and we can place ourselves in a better position to engage with our customers on a more regular basis through the use of Chatbots.
We will also see the decline of human errors because AI can pull from several databases filled with information at any time. However, as humans, we are more prone to making mistakes and causing errors that may take even more work and time to correct.
The quality of the air in the workplace is important because it can affect the health, comfort, and performance of the employees that are indoors all day. To ensure that the air quality in your office building is at exceptional levels, it is critical that you do not overlook cleaning the ventilation and ceiling tile areas of the workplace.
Not only will cleaning these areas improve the air quality for the employees, but it can also help extend the lifetime of the ceiling tiles and ventilation system when they are maintained, cleaned, and kept up with. This can ultimately save the company money and a few headaches in the long run.
The ventilation system is vital to the office building because it is what determines the quality of the air the employees are breathing in. A few contaminants that can affect the air quality include CO2 from people breathing, perfume, body odors, dust, fiberglass particles, and microorganisms or even mold. All of these contaminants can have a very negative effect on the air the employees breathe in and can cause sickness and other health problems when exposed for too long.
Even something as innocent as new furniture or a fresh coat of paint can cause a decline in the air quality because of the gases that are released such as formaldehyde.
Ceiling tiles directly above our heads are also caused for concern and should be cleaned regularly because of all the dust and contaminants that could settle here as well. Not only will dirty ceiling tiles cause the same adverse reactions as poor ventilation, the lighting for the office may also be affected.
What Can You Do?
To combat the negative effects of poor air quality in the office, you can follow a few of these cleaning tips regularly to stay ahead of the problems. Also, hiring an experienced cleaning company to come in a perform a more in-depth and deeper cleaning of the office is also a good idea because sometimes it may be hard to find time in between all the other required office tasks to get the cleaning done the right way.
1. Vacuum regularly. Try using a vacuum that contains a HEPA filter, has strong suction, and is equipped with a rotating brush. Go over the same areas more than once to ensure a deeper clean and don’t neglect the baseboards and furniture. Dust from ceiling tiles could always come loose and settle on all the different surfaces in the office.
2. Keep the humidity levels at between 30 and 50% to help prevent dust mites and mold.
3. Make sure to clean the vents and remove any dust and debris
4. Wipe down the light fixtures
5. Use a damp cloth to wipe down dirty ceiling tiles
And as already recommended, hiring a professional cleaning company is a good idea because they have the tools and resources that are needed to accomplish a much deeper clean of the office including the vents and ceiling tiles.
Creating a collaborative work environment also means you are setting yourself up for a more successful work environment. Collaboration in the work environment means that the employees can communicate and work together in a more focused environment, so they can put their heads together to come up with great ideas, rather than always working alone.
The following are just a few tips and tricks you can use in the workplace to make the environment more collaborative and creatively driven.
Encourage More Innovation
When encouraging innovation, you are basically encouraging your team to brainstorm ideas and talk freely amongst themselves about a project or upcoming project. They can talk through any obstacles they may be faced with and can come up with creative ideas.
It encourages team members to speak up and express their ideas and creativity which makes them feel more connected and invested in the project and company.
Build a More Cohesive Environment
When you provide a collaborative environment for your employees, you are giving them the opportunity to improve their communication skills and initiate meetings in which they can gain any help or insight they may need.
This improved level of communication can help improve the workflow and can lead to successfully accomplishing more goals and tasks throughout the day.
A collaborative environment also means the unique opportunity to identify and leverage the strengths of each employee. This means you can assign tasks to the right person and know that since it plays to their strengths, it will be done properly and successfully.
Build a Sense of Community
Finally, a collaborative environment is a good way to build a sense of community and respect within the workplace. Employees will have the chance to get to know each other better which can help improve communication and performance by helping maintain more of a personal focus.
If you choose to create a collaborative work environment and follow these simple tips, then you are well on your way to fostering a more creative and communicative environment. Be consistent with your efforts, and you will reap the benefits.
The break room in the office may very well be one of the most overlooked areas to clean, even though it is also one of the most frequented areas for employees. The break room is where you receive a bit of a reprieve from the everyday grind from your job, so why wouldn’t you want it to be a clean and organized space that is both welcoming and inviting?
The following are just a few tips to help clean the office break room.
Organize the Fridge
As anyone who has worked in an office can tell you, the break room fridge is one of the dirtiest spots in the entire kitchen because it often seems to be a dumping ground for unwanted and forgotten food and Tupperware containers.
However, if you organize the fridge and everything has a place, then it is more likely that people will keep it this way and food items won’t be pushed to the very back to be forgotten and left to rot.
Also, you should encourage the employees not to keep their lunch in the fridge contained in a plastic bag. This is also another way items get discarded and forgotten about in the break room fridge.
Always Have Cleaners on Hand
Just as you would always want to make sure there was hand soap in the bathroom, you will also want to make sure that employees have access to hand soap, dish soap, and other cleaning agents in the break room as well. When these items are handy, it is more likely that they will use them to wipe down counters, wash the dishes they use, and keep the break room clean and hygienic.
Don’t Forget the Coffeemaker and Microwave
Two of the most used appliances in any office break room would have to be the coffeemaker and the microwave. But how often can you honestly say these two items are cleaned and disinfected? Everyone in the office touches these items on a daily basis, so it is important that they get cleaned and wiped down to kill any germs or bacteria.
Additionally, the coffee maker should be cleaned regularly to help eliminate any stains or lime deposits from forming. If the microwave has some tough, baked on residue; place a cup of water in there and heat it up for several minutes. The steam from the water will help loosen any stuck-on particles and will make the microwave much easier to clean.
If you follow a regular cleaning schedule and everyone in the office participates, then the break room will be a much cleaner and more sanitary retreat that everyone will enjoy and be able to use to the fullest.