Your desk … ditch or destination this spring? - HR Future helps people prepare for the Future of Work and is South Africa's leading print, digital and online Human Resources magazine.

Your desk … ditch or destination this spring?


It is declared that Friday 30 September is Desk Day 2016. The goal is to clear-up South Africa one desk, one office and one business at a time.

In order to harness the energy of spring, you need to start with a clean slate. This will ensure that the last part of the year is productive, fresh and energised. You need to let go of all those files, magazines, emails and clutter lying around your office, which are carrying a significant weight. It is this unnecessary bulk that will keep you and your business goals stagnant, stuck and slow.

The following stats and figures are shared: The average figures when completing a productivity de-cluttering day in an office with 10 desks and staff members, will yield on average, 500kg. That is half a tonne of shredding, recycling, donations and trash that can be removed. Ask yourself, what is the financial cost of that redundant load on your bottom line?

Get into shape for Desk Day 2016 by following these10 tips for an optimal office clear-out’

1.    Decide on a specific day and get the whole office on board - make it a collaborative team build with celebratory drinks (afterwards);
2.    Designate one person in charge to organise wheelie bins, black bags, cleaning products, shredders for sensitive data, and to take pictures;
3.    Have some guidelines: Do I love, it, do I use it, does it add value to our office, business objectives and productivity levels?
4.    Each person is responsible for their own desk, emails and personal filing system;
5.    Create small teams to tackle further joint filing/data/other STUFF that’s piled up in the office;
6.    Use the following guidelines for evaluating each piece of paper, staying within corporate governance guidelines for your industry/SARS, etc;

Should I keep this - if so in paper or scanned format?
Who is responsible for filing it?
Who needs access to it down the line?
Under what file name should it be filed for ease of retrieval?

7.    Jointly decide if any systems and processes are outdated and slowing your team down; engage with IT to see how to streamline and simplify;
8.    Share your best personal phone apps/email tips with each other;
9.    Play music to keep energy in the office high and do some fun awards for the oldest item found, weirdest item, most disgusting, etc. Always keep it fun; and
10.    Weigh the amount of waste leaving the office in order to feel really great about the clear out - a wheelie bin holds approximately 40kg.  

At the end of the day, you can all feel proud to have created a clean slate, some space and energy to allow new clients, ideas and business to flow through the doors.

Kate Emmerson, the Desk Deva.

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