Thursday, August 15, 2013

5 Easy Ways to Improve Office Efficiency for Free

Clean Office DeskEveryone's looking for new ways to improve their office, but why spend a fortune? If your chair is uncomfortable or your computer is slow, you certainly don't have to put up with it just to increase your productiveness, but you don't have to grab a hammer and break the piggy bank either. If you're on a budget, try some of these easy tricks to help improve your office efficiency without giving up the green!

Clean Your Keyboard Tray

One of the things you may never even about doing is cleaning out your keyboard. A dirty keyboard can be the cause of slow typing, and is often the impetus for purchasing a pricey new keyboard whenever a letter gets jammed and won't work anymore. Fortunately, keyboards and keyboard tray attachments can be cleaned out to prevent having to buy a new one. The sad part is that when most people consider it, they usually think it requires calling a service that will charge them more money than a simple cleaning is worth. Well, there's a great trick to cleaning out your keyboard with something you likely already have in the garage at home. Simply use a can of compressed air to blast the gunk out of it if the keys are slow. If a particular key is jammed, use a small screwdriver to pop it off and dislodge whatever is causing the jam (usually small pebbles, pencil tips, or crumbs). Then finally, wipe it off with a few disinfecting wipes to remove grease. You won't believe the difference!

Properly Route Your Wiring

Computers are extremely useful, but if the wires that connect them to printers, external hard drives, and presentation projectors are tangled up in a huge mess, you could get roped into a pretty expensive mess if any accidents happened. In order to get maximum efficiency from your computer and other devices, make sure you keep your wiring properly routed - that is, make sure the cords and cables connecting your devices are short and connected properly. Keeping wires and hard drives off the ground is a great way to avoid damage from spilled beverages and office pests. Consider adding CPU holders that mount under desks to keep hard drives off the floor and out of the way. Keep your wires together in bunches using velcro, duct tape, or wire chases mounted to the underside of your desk so your legs don't get tangled in them. Making use of grommet holes (the little holes at the front of your desk you've always wondered about) by running all your wires through them helps clear up desk space so you don't have to wade through a web of cables when searching for the stapler. If you still need more desk space, add monitor arms to your computers so they're mounted to walls instead of taking up space. Doing any of these things will help keep desks and workstations looking clean, organized, and easily maintained.

Purge Your Old Files

Another quick way to increase your office efficiency is to get rid of old files. That's right! In both computers and file cabinets, a good cleaning is a great way to improve your space and your speed. If you rely on paper filing systems, take the time one afternoon to go through and clean out the old records you haven't used or needed in a while. The same can be done for the literature racks and bookcase in the waiting room or reception area. If you don't have the heart or the ability to toss old files in the garbage, move them into boxes or smaller file bins sorted by date or type and keep them in a storage closet so they're out of your way. If you use computers, this task can be much simpler. Just go through and click delete on old files you no longer need. Run a quick scan to get rid of any malware or cookies that may be slowing your computer down, and empty your computer's recycle bin. The space you'll free up in your computer and storage cabinets will not only give you more storage options, but it will also increase your speed and functionality!

Adjust Your Office Chair

If you've been putting up with an uncomfortable office chair for far too long, you may be thinking that its time to get a new one. Unsupportive chairs can cause terrible back pain, depression, and  serious medical problems like sciatica and even blood clots! The only thing likely holding you back is the exorbitant prices of quality office chairs these days. Well, while you can find fabulous deals if you look long enough, chances are you can greatly increase your comfort without having to buy a new chair. In fact. most offices provide comfortable ergonomic office chairs without their employees even knowing it. If you've been experiencing  discomfort, just try adjusting your chair. Almost all modern task chairs have a height feature that can be adjusted so you don't have to bend down or reach up over desks to work, and often the back, seat angle, and arms can be adjusted as well. Some chairs even have an air pump feature on the under the seat to fluff up the cushion or deflate it. Instead of replacing your chair, just work with it a bit. You may find that its not so bad after all!

Clean Your Work Surface

There is no better way to increase your office efficiency that is more simple than an easy spring cleaning. Few like to do it, but no one can deny the affordability and helpfulness presented by a clean office space. If you find that you've been lining things like papers and business cards along the edges of cubicle layouts, you may actually just need a few stackable trays to help you keep things organized. Adding a whiteboard is a great way to keep daily notes without wasting papers that are easily lost. Some presentation boards not only include whiteboards, but also cork board doors to hold cards and post-its as well. Consider adding utility carts or file trucks that can be kept in corners or under desks but can be wheeled out until they are needed. Try to put everything easily within arms reach for added efficiency.

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