Office-Changing Spring Cleaning Strategies

How to spring clean your way to a successful business

When we hear the word 'spring-cleaning', your office isn't exactly what we expect to come next, although it should. Spring is the perfect time to polish up your work space and place; giving yourself and your organization a clean slate to get your affairs in order and focus on the company's goals, image and business relationships for a successful year ahead. Below are 4 types of spring cleaning to incorporate into your routine:

Physical/electronic space spring cleaning
The majority of people start here when spring cleaning. Cleaning up your desk area, computer files and operation floors, to name a few examples, are critical and essential parts of being efficient and effective. It's really hard to be efficient if you can't find stuff you need, and frustrating too.

  • Electronic files/shared drives - I promise that everyone's files on their computers and/or shared drives are in need of a good clean. As you read this you're probably shaking your head in agreement and have probably attempted a clean-up in the past but then realize how much time it actually takes. Idea: Have dedicated mandatory days set aside in your organization to have everyone go through their files and delete items not necessary and appropriately file electronic items. It takes time but is worth the effort. Plus it's very satisfying to find a file in a few seconds once you're done the activity. You will be glad you did it.
  • Common areas/meeting rooms/operation floors - take a peek at all these spaces. Are they organized? Are all the supplies there and in working order? Is anything broken that needs to be fixed. Is the light bulb in the projector working (hint: I visit many offices where the light bulb on the projector is out, it's an easy fix, unless you're just about to start an important meeting, then it's a scramble). Idea: Assign teams to specific shared spaces to audit the areas and make sure they are in working order, neat and that everything has a home but most importantly that everyone knows what to do when the area needs tidying. You can even rotate this team so that everyone has a chance to be on the crew.
  • Storage room - go through all the storage rooms and pull out everything in them. If you had the item more than 8 months, time to consider if they are really needed. Idea: Have an on-site storage "garage sale". Open it up to the organization. Anything that doesn't 'sell' can be donated.
Strategy Spring Cleaning
What's this you ask? It's the opportunity for decision makers to look at their current strategy and vet it through the organization's vision to make sure it's still relevant. Many times strategy ideas were great at the time of conception but as time moves on sometimes strategy just doesn't make sense anymore. Don't hold on to these strategies/projects just because. If they're relevant, keep them and breathe new life into them (like opening a window), if not get rid of it.
Have a meeting with all key players and go through every project, initiative and idea. Make sure items are still relevant to new developments that have occurred after the final strategy approval. Literately ask the questions: Does this [insert strategy, project or item] still make sense and is it in line with our vision? If yes, are we giving it the right amount of resources, time and budget to be successful? You get the picture. Put everything thorough the litmus test. You will be surprised with how much changed over the winter season.

Vision Statement Spring Cleaning
Take time to revisit your vision statement. Is it a traditional one liner? Does everyone understand what it means? Your vision statement is critical as it sets the tone for everyone's behaviour and actions. Make sure it resonates with your team.
Idea: Turn your one liner vision statement into a more meaningful vision story that inspires and resonate with your team and organization. Create a visual vision statement that actually paints a picture of your organizations greatest desires and dreams. Use it to revive the organization and bring in a new fresh perspective that truly unites everyone on a common cause.

People/Team Spring Cleaning
No, this is NOT a time to get rid of people. This is a time to freshen up your team so they are rejuvenated and refreshed with new ideas and have excitement for what is going on in the organization. It is a known fact that people who feel connected to their work are more engaged and as a result more productive. A true win-win for everyone.
Idea: Make spring a time for training. Allow employees to catch up on the latest skills. The key is to have them share what they learned and apply it to what they are doing. Create a before/after board to publicize these new learnings. This helps out the organization to ensure training is being used and helps reinforce training points for those in the training program.

Spring cleaning goes beyond actual cleaning. It means it's time to actual review what it is you have been doing and to ensure everything around you is relevant and makes sense. Don't stop at the tidying up aspect. Go beyond this and review everything you're doing. It's a great way to ensure you're on course and moving forward with purpose.