I started working at Mitchell Adam Ltd around 7 weeks ago and the thing with starting a new job is trying to balance all the new things I’m doing and keeping my space organised. I find that within a few days I’m surrounded by piles of notes, bits of stationery and equipment I’m not sure I’ll need. Usually I worry I don’t look all round together when I’m ruffling through those bits of paper to find an extension number for example.
As I’ve recently experienced this I’ve listed some techniques of organising your professional space so that you can settle into a new job as quick as possible.
After a couple of weeks at a new job you’ll have more of an idea of which information you need to hand. Rather than having a pile of notes, consider condensing them into a notebook. This can include information such as telephone numbers and extensions for colleagues or clients, instructions on how to use the company CRM system or information to help when you when making telephone calls.
Of course things can change, so leave a page or two between each bit of information for additional notes and use tipex for out of date details. Over time you’ll find you can get through days without your trusty notebook, but in the early days it will mean all the difference.
Another way of showing you have it together is improving the layout of your desk based on the way you use the equipment.
Think about which side of your desk your telephone is and how you answer it. Do you use your right or your left hand? If you use your right hand to answer it should be on that side and vice versa to the left. Doing this avoids you reaching across your body to answer any calls.
Once you’ve placed your telephone in the best place, next consider where to place a notepad and pen. It doesn’t necessarily need to be in front of your telephone, as you may need to use a computer whilst you’re talking to someone. However this decision needs to be based on which is your dominant hand as there’s no point having a notepad to the right side of the table if you’re left handed.
Other things to think about include an in-tray, folders or a pen holder, of which can be fitted around any main equipment.
In my first office role a number of my colleagues kept personal objects on their desk such as photographs of the kids or a dog whilst I had a collection of ornamental elephants on my monitor stand. Knick knacks are fine as long as your employer permits them and they’re not getting in the way, constantly being knocked over or creating obvious clutter.
The first rule for office drawers is that the closest one is for priority items, whether they be most used, objects of importance or a mix of both. Think about what you need to hand and how best to separate them or keep them together. No-one wants to open a drawer to find a mix of pens, paperclips and staples topped with business cards and stamps. Try using small containers for each item and ask your employer if they keep any products such as an expanding drawer file.
Another tip is to clear out your drawers every few months. Bits of papers may accumulate over time and you may be holding onto folders filled with out of date information.
No matter what kind of work you do, whether it be administration, fee earner or a management type role, it makes a difference when your desk is working as well as it can for you!