Most of us want better work-life balance, and most of us feel we are failing miserably. Time management is key to work-life balance, and office organization is a big part of the “work” side of the work-life equation.
Purge your office of furnishings, equipment, and documents that are non-functional. When was the last time you used that 20-year-old fax machine?
Set up a streamlined filing system that gives you good proximity and access to items you need frequently, and archive less-used items further away. Does that secret-Santa file need to be on your desk year-round?
Create a meeting folder containing all the items needed for a meeting, and a Waiting-On-Response folder for actions you need to follow up on. You’ll stay on top of activities without last-minute panics.
Sort through your mail the minute it arrives, and sort it for action: read, delegate, file, act on, or toss. No need to hold on to that year-old catalog!
File weekly, to keep the desktop piles manageable.
Scuderi emphasizes that you can treat your organizational changes as an ongoing project. You don’t have to devote 24/7 to getting organized – and that certainly fits in well with the philosophy of work-life balance!
We’ll add another tip of our own: A space-efficient high density storage system will help you streamline your filing. Take a look at how one space-challenged organization used high density storage:
From Southern California to Washington, D.C., new warehouses are springing up overnight to meet market demands. There’s one time-consuming phase of warehouse build-out, however, that shouldn’t be bypassed regardless of how much of a hurry you’re in.
As reported by Site Selection Group, the demand for new warehousing is spurred by e-commerce’s continued exponential growth, where volume and speed-to-market are critical success factors. Warehouses can be constructed relatively quickly – an average of 81 days in the U.S. – but the permitting process for racking systems can potentially slow your build-out to a crawl, extending your timeline and costs.
Of course, the short-term costs of a longer timeline are far outweighed by the long-term costs of injuries and product losses (not to mention fines) in the event of racking system failures. It’s important to work with an experienced storage consultant who will design and install safe, reliable storage racks. Their expertise could help you speed up permit sign-offs from the building department and the fire department.
Building a strictly legal environment for your employees and your products will ultimately save you big-time in terms of safety and liability. Read more here about permitting, and see a video showing what happens when unpermitted racking fails in a seismic event.
The classic idea of a librarian – a pedantic person who is always shushing people – is giving way to a high-tech version that isn’t perturbed by chatty patrons. By combining high density storage systems with robotic storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS), large libraries are expanding their collections without slowing down the retrieval and re-shelving of the millions of publications in their charge. Now libraries can take their storage to architectural extremes without losing document retrieval efficiency. See the remarkable photos here.
And when you have 157 miles of shelving condensed into an ancient building like the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, fetching one particular book could exhaust a human librarian. As reported by Attila Nagy in Gizmodo, efficient robots free up librarians’ time to do what they do best: curating publications and assisting readers in identifying the ideal resource for their needs.
Despite this move toward automation, nothing can replace a librarian’s ability to categorize and connect disparate topics and arcane sources. No one can better encourage a young reader by offering exactly the right book. Librarians are uniquely situated to collect and preserve countless publications and make sure they are stored safely, ideally in a modern high density storage system.
And even though they may dispatch a robot to retrieve your favorite book, librarians will still discourage loud talking.
Sitting in a healthcare waiting room usually rates quite low on the good-times scale, and quite high on the stress scale. With today’s trend toward “patient as consumer,” designers are looking at ways to make waiting rooms more user-friendly.
A recent study at a major healthcare facility defined the shortcomings in waiting room designs, including:
Seating that blocked views to information sources (reception personnel, exam room entries)
Little space for personal belongings
Insufficient access to power sources for tablets and laptops
Lack of privacy and seating for family groups
The researchers recommended re-designing waiting rooms to:
Accommodate a variety of activities – work, rest, etc. – that might vary over time
Improve privacy while adapting to large and small family groups as needed
Increase space for personal belongings
Enhance access to power plugs for all our modern e-devices.
Reconfigurable furnishings have a big role to play in the new patient-centered waiting room designs. Seating and tables that can easily adapt to changing needs, even multiple times in a day, will go a long way toward creating an ideal patient-centered atmosphere. This video shows how one healthcare provider transformed their waiting room with reconfigurable furnishings: