Fall Clean-Up Important To Being Profitable

March, April and May have long been associated with “spring cleaning,” and most small businesses take advantage of this time period to tidy up around the office and organize their work space. Unfortunately, too many small businesses forget to include a vital aspect of their everyday business in their spring cleaning routine– their virtual office.

Jen Cohen Crompton, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Neat Company, recommends that small businesses take advantage of the fall months to clean their virtual space. Jen understands that it’s easier to hit “Save to Desktop,” when storing documents but soon enough, employees will be wasting time searching through a cluttered mess of business documents, spreadsheets, photos and more to find that one project they half-completed a month ago.  To clean up a cluttered digital space, Jen 

  • Go through each file on your desktop and delete any and all files that are no longer needed. Don’t let your desktop get clogged up with documents you might need down the road.
  • Use a cloud storage system for tax and other time-sensitive documents that you may want to hold onto for longer than a week or two. The cloud is also a great way to back up important documents in case disaster strikes and something happens to your computer.
  • Create a streamlined file structure and saving process that allows you to quickly save documents in a location that makes sense and is easy to find.
  • Add folders to your email, and as soon as you receive a new email, drop and drag it to the appropriate folder for an organized inbox.
  • Consider deleting all icons on your desktops. Between Mac’s “dock” and Window’s “task bar,” there is really no need to have anything at all on your desktop except for some nice beach wallpaper to remind you of more relaxing times.

The effects of excessive digital clutter can extend beyond a single worker and can bog down office servers and slow down other employee’s computers. Small businesses that want to get serious about a productive office need to promote a clean virtual space.

“Digital clutter in the workplace is an issue that negatively affects productivity in the workplace,” said Jen. “It’s important that small business owners and employees clean their virtual space, and establish streamlined workflows that keeps the digital clutter at bay and allows them to get to what matters.”

In addition to her role at Neat, Jen is a small business owner herself, and regularly advises other small businesses on the best technology solutions to incorporate into their everyday routine.