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Useful Tips for Setting Up a Successful Office

Useful Tips for Setting Up a Successful Office

If you are starting a business and setting up a new office, there are a lot of things that are going to need to be done. But, before you can get started, you need to know exactly what you are going to do, and how you are going to set the office up. You can’t just throw in a few computers and some furniture and call it an office. There are many things to consider.

Resources

One of the first things you need to think about are your resources. You are going to need a lot of things, from help creating a floor plan to setting up software and more. To get you started, here are some of our favorite resources for setting up an office:

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  • SmartDraw – Create office plans, building plans, and more at Smartdraw.
  • BCC – Visit BCC for all of your IT support and structured cabling needs.
  • Office Setup – You will find loads of great ideas on setting up an office on Pinterest.
  • Office Tools – Get practice management software and educational resources in the tax preparation and public accounting industry at this website.
  • Gliffy – To create a really effective and productive floor plan for your office, visit Gliffy.

Tips

Once you have your list of resources, it is time to start creating a plan and put it into action. There is a lot more to do than just get a few office supplies. You need to consider every aspect of planning an office in order to ensure that your office has the amenities that you and your employees need in order to be productive. Here are some tips to help get you started:

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1. Consider Your Budget

One of the most important things to consider when setting up a new office is your budget. You need to make sure that you have a good balance between the costs to set up an office and the rest of your expenses. For instance, you don’t want to skimp out on things you need in the office because you want to be able to pay salaries. On the flip side, you don’t want to skimp on salaries to pay for the new office setup. Set up a realistic budget that you can work with, and find ways to create a productive office on a budget.

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2. Choose a Location

Once you have a budget firmly in place, it is time to start looking for the ideal location for your office. Things to consider are the city, the neighborhood, your market, etc. For instance, if you are setting up an office that specializes in architecture, you likely aren’t going to have your office in a shopping district. You also need to think about what you need in the way of space, amenities, utilities, etc. While you are choosing a location, think about the type of people you are going to be hiring. The office should not only be one that is productive and effective, but one that they will enjoy working in.

3. Finishing Touches

You have found everything you need for resources; you have a budget firmly in place, and you have found the perfect location for your office. Now, all you need to do is put the finishing touches on everything. It is the little things that make an office a place where employees actually want to be. Add touches that are unique to you and your business, and that are unique to your employees. Have posters with inspirational quotes. Paint certain colors to promote a relaxed atmosphere. Use lighting that isn’t harsh. These are all little things, but they all add up to help create the perfect office atmosphere for your business.

Featured photo credit: Startup Stock Photos via pexels.com

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Jane Hurst

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

I imagine that like me, you say that you never have enough time and that you just cannot cope with 60 dozen things all at once.

How on earth do you get out of that spiral?

Many people never sit down and look at how to work smarter, rather than harder and even longer hours. But not you, you’re smart enough to try to learn effective ways to work.

So how to work smarter not harder? Here are 12 smart ways you should be following:

1. Improve Your Time Management Skills

Easier said than done? Well, no actually, because there are a few simple rules that can really help you to manage time better.

For example, when setting up a top priority task, you need to switch off the phone and ignore your email first. Then you need to abandon any ideas of multitasking as that will slow you down and ruin your focus.

Finally, set a reasonable deadline and do everything in your power to meet it.

“When you’re born, you’re born with 30,000 days. That’s it. The best strategic planning I can give to you is to think about that.” — Sir Ray Avery

2. Speed up Your Typing and Use Shortcuts

These days we’re all keyboard slaves. So why not speed up your typing and try to get rid of the two finger syndrome. In fact, when you save 21 days per year just by typing fast!

This is exactly what I am doing now, so I cannot honestly say I am practicing what I preach!

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But help is at hand. Try some of these apps and games to help you type fast: 8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

Using shortcuts on the keyboard is another time saver and can speed up your work.

For example, press F2 to rename a selected file, while CTRL + I will put selected text in italics.

There are so many of these. If you make the effort to learn them, they really can be helpful.

3. Learn How to Use Productivity Tools

It is well worth downloading all the useful tools and apps that can highly boost your productivity. Take a look at these 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools and install whatever fits your needs.

Now that is really a great way of working smarter, not harder.

4. Use Your Phone Wisely

Instead of writing emails, sometimes it’s better to pick up the phone and talk to the person responsible. It saves time, especially for important or urgent discussions.

If that colleague works in the same office, it is even better to go and talk to him or her. It gives you a break, you get some exercise and you actually make human contact which is becoming quite rare in this electronic world.

5. Keep a Tab on Your Tabs

If you are like me, you might well find that you have a ton of tabs open at the top of your browser.

In order to find the one you want, you have to search for them as they are off screen. Having all these tabs open slows down your browser too.

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One solution is to use OneTab which can keep a neat list on the screen of all these tabs when you want to quickly get to one of them or you want to remind yourself which ones you have open.

6. Use a “To Don’t” List

We all know about to do lists and I find that they are generally great. They give me a great sense of achievement as I cross off the tasks done.

But often, I find that we are doing non-essential tasks or ones that can easily be postponed. That is why many people recommend the to don’t list.[1]

Some people prefer to savagely prune the to do list while others prefer to have two separate lists, to do and to don’t. You just have to work out what works best for you when you are trying to save precious time to become more productive.

7. Expect Failure and Fight Paranoia

When failure rears its ugly head, some people get a bit paranoid and fear that this may become a trend.

Projects will go wrong and failure should be expected rather than feared. Learning lessons from failure and analyzing what went wrong is the best way forward.

“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” — Richard Branson

And here you can find 10 Great Lessons Highly Successful People Have Learned From Failure.

8. Be Concise

Rambling on at meetings, in emails and even when introducing yourself to new clients can waste a lot of people’s time.

One way is to practice and sharpen your “elevator speech,”[2] which tells people in 30 seconds or less why they need your skills and how they can benefit from doing business with you.

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Just think of the many situations where this could be useful:

  • Making new contacts
  • Talking about yourself at a job interview
  • Meeting people at conferences or parties
  • Phone calls to new clients

9. Ask the Right Questions

“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” — Naguib Mahfouz

How do you get feedback? The secret is to ask the right questions at the right time.

When you do this, you are gathering the information you need to help in decision making. This will save you time and you will be able to cut meetings to a minimum.

Forbes magazine reports on research that they carried out on asking the right questions.[3] When that happens, the positive effects are increased by 400%. There are also other benefits in staff motivation and a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.

Lifehack’s CEO Leon has shared about how to ask for feedback to learn faster: How to Learn Quickly And Master Any Skill You Want

10. Learn as Much as You Can

You should always be on a steep learning curve. Look at your skills profile and determine where you need to fill a gap. Talk to important connections and network in your niche.

Keep up to date on trends and developments. It is a fact-changing world. When an opportunity arises, you will be the best equipped to seize it because you have never stopped learning. Just another way of working smarter.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi

11. Look After Your Greatest Resource

No, your greatest resource is not time. It is YOU.

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If you do not get enough sleep, exercise and relaxation, you find that you become less and less productive. You begin to work longer and longer hours, which is the exact opposite of what you want.

What you should be doing is making sure you are in the best shape. It is useful to remember that you need a break of 15 minutes after every one and a half hours of work.[4]

Taking breaks and getting fresh air and exercise is one of the best ways of working smarter, not harder.

12. Don’t Fall into the Trap of Working Smarter and Harder

As a society, we are obsessed with doing everything smarter so we are more efficient and we save time all around.[5]

But the most important thing to remember is to accept when we are ready to switch off that computer and not fill up the time with even more work!

The Bottom Line

The key to greater productivity is to work smarter, not harder. Working smarter saves precious time and energy for the things that really matter — your life goals, your personal growth, your health and your relationships.

Stop working for more hours and start working smarter!

More About Working Smart

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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