Kickstart the Quarter with An Office Spring Cleaning!

March 1, 20240

As the worst of winter slowly retreated, all eyes turned to a certain famous groundhog. Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring, offering some fresh air and fresh opportunities for your office. You, your team, and your entire office could benefit from an office spring cleaning to give way to a refreshing, productive quarter. So, get into your comfy work jeans and have some fun with your coworkers in a collaboration for a fresh start!

Productivity Perks of a Clean Office

Have you ever been sitting at your desk, trying to focus on a project, and just been utterly overwhelmed by the amount of clutter strewn about? Post-it notes of every color, and stacks of documents waiting for your review. You head to the break room to brew a quick cup of tea or coffee for focus and find yourself greeted with a kettle covered in grime with sticky buttons. You go into the cabinets and see ants crawling through the sugar. Now let’s flip the scenario. You go to grab a pen on your desk and you don’t have to go on a scavenger hunt. All of your memos are properly organized on a board. You go to brew your drink of choice and are met with a gleaming, clean machine and fresh sugar for a tasty brew. You sit at your desk in a comfortable chair and start on your project, content in the knowledge that you are comfortable and working in a clean environment.

Did you know that a clean office can attract and retain high-performance workers? A clean workspace can boost productivity and job satisfaction, leading to a happy, efficient office. Not only that, but a clean office is more sanitary and promotes wellness. Clean surfaces mean less sick days, and updated office furniture or ergonomic computer accessories lead to healthier, pain-free employees. A spring office clean-up is all it takes to update and refresh your office, getting rid of all that extra dust just in time for allergy season.

The Three R’s of Office Clean-Up

Spring cleaning delves deeper than wiping down surfaces and replacing filters. It’s a great time to visit the three R’s: Renew, Remove, and Recycle. Spring cleaning is the perfect time to go over office appliances, furniture, and more to make sure everything is in good condition and up to date. A messy coffee machine isn’t going to brew a good cup of joe to keep your employees focused. It can and will affect the taste, and it may be harboring bacteria in areas you can’t reach. Is your refrigerator energy efficient? You could be saving money in the long run. How are your employee’s chairs holding up? Poor seating means bad backs, and snags in furniture can leave a poor impression on clients or business collaborators if you host them in your conference rooms.

Replacing appliances and furniture might sound like a big business expense to take on, but consider the overall productivity and profits. These costs are an investment in your business, your employees, your partners, your clients— and yourself.

Things to Consider About Furniture

It can be easy to lose track of furniture in your office— the bigger your space, even more so. Most office spaces have more than desk chairs to contend with. Desks, cubicles, break room tables and chairs, conference room furniture, lobby furniture…the list goes on. And the furniture is bulky and hard to work with. It’s easy enough to pay for delivery, and you can even spring for assembly if you want. But you still need to get rid of the old. Some furniture companies will offer to haul it away, but they never really tell you what they do with it. More often than not, they use a waste removal service and then charge you the extra. But you can skip the middleman to save yourself some cost. Even better, you can schedule the old stuff to be taken before the new arrives, clearing space for your big spring clean and for the movers bringing anything new.

Commit to Proper Electronic Disposal

Did you know there’s a new epidemic involving waste in the US? It turns out that very few Americans realize what those little symbols on electronic products mean. E-waste is toxic, and shouldn’t be tossed in a landfill with other trash. It needs to be properly recycled, instead. But that’s pretty challenging in itself. The materials in electronics can be difficult to work with. If you have any electronic devices you need to replace, from computer towers to frayed cords, you need to find a service that can pick up and properly dispose of your e-junk.

All About Appliances

Sometimes the breakroom needs an upgrade. Maybe you want more efficient appliances, or maybe that twenty-year-old fridge finally gave out on you. Whatever the reason, replacing an appliance is about more than just going shopping. You need to make sure the old one is disposed of properly. A lot of people don’t realize that many of the components in old appliances can be recycled.

While you’re there, consider cleaning out old desk drawers and getting rid of dated office supplies. A clean workspace brings out the best in employees.

Clearing Out the Digital Clutter

Your desk isn’t the only thing that can get so cluttered it interrupts your productivity. How long has it been since you sorted through your hard drive? From reorganizing your file paths to clearing out what you don’t need, you can free up space on your drive and find what you need with ease. Have old files you don’t need but have to keep for record purposes? Invest in an external hard drive so that you still have them if audited but they aren’t crowding up your memory. Start clearing out those old emails, and be sure to back up important files to an encrypted cloud server in case of emergency.

Consider Your Marketing Expenses

Are you wasting money on old, dated marketing strategies? Have you looked into the modern world of Digital Marketing? It can do wonders for your business. With Search Engine Marketing, Pay Per Click, and SEO, you could double, or even triple your sales in a very short time.

Considering that advertising, when done right, pays for itself, it might be a good time to consult with a professional marketing agency and review your options. By this time next year, you could be at a whole new level!

Getting Your Paperwork in Order

Let’s be real, businesses deal in a lot of paperwork. From financial records to tax documents to personnel files and more, the list just goes on and on. Going paperless can help, with digital vaults to store old files and electronic records for clients and billing, but it’s not foolproof. You still need to save certain files should you fall to the ever-looming threat of an audit. If you’re worried about digital security, then our telling you that it has massively improved over the last few years might not be enough to assuage concerns. If you want to keep certain paper records, then you need to get your filing system in order. Paperwork records can have specific rules in certain states, but there are a few universal guidelines to follow.

Employee Records

These need to be kept up-to-date and away from prying eyes outside of HR (or your business’s equivalent). You need to keep an earnings record that goes back four years. If you had to let an employee go, date the record for their termination— you need to keep it for at least three years. If they left unclaimed property, then you have to keep it period. If you fall under the Fair Labor Standards Act, be sure to save old timecards. For current employees, you generally want to toss out anything older than three to four years so you don’t end up with bulging files for your loyal employees.

Financial Records

Spring cleaning is the perfect time to go over your financials with accounting. Start organizing your income and expenses, and you may just find some places to cut costs. You should also look at decluttering your debt and consolidating any business accounts for easier tracking. This includes checkings and savings, brokerage, and even retirement accounts.

Now is also a great time to review any outstanding contracts with other businesses. Are you outsourcing to a cleaner? See how they’re services have held up and check prices with well-reviewed competitors. If you’ve been a loyal client, they might be willing to negotiate better terms to match competitive rates. This goes for pest control and other services as well.

Your financial records, including client paperwork and billing, are the perfect place to start transitioning to digital records. Many clients prefer paperless statements as it’s more eco-friendly and leads to less clutter in their homes or offices. Just be sure to have a solid backup system and invest in cybersecurity, and you will have little to worry over.

Tax Records

This is a two-edged sword. You need to have a system in place for upcoming taxes and one in place for storing old records. You should verify with a local tax agent or attorney, but generally, you need to keep old records for four years. Work with whoever handles your taxes through the years to create a system that works with their process, so you don’t inadvertently cause them giant hassles when it’s time to file. Some specific taxes will have different retention requirements, so plan around those.

Tax Prep

Make things easier for yourself (or your accountant) by having plans in place. Start basing transactions and business activity to maximize your savings or tax impact. You should also work out a filing strategy to keep records that will affect future taxes easy to find and track. If you have an accounting department or a solo accountant, let them take the lead to ensure the new system matches their workflow.

Sales Tax Returns

This can vary from state to state.

Travel and Entertainment Expenses

For travel and transportation expenses later deducted as a business expense, you’ll need to keep mileage logs and receipts for three years.

Business Property Deductions

Remember that ergonomic new furniture? You need to keep records regarding costs and deductions, such as depreciation. These records have to be kept for the life of the furniture plus seven years, so have a good dating system in order.

Proper Disposal Protocol

As you’re reorganizing your paperwork, you will likely come across several files you just don’t need anymore. You need a process in place for proper, secure disposal to ensure these don’t fall into the wrong hands. This looks like two different options. First, you can purchase a secure shredder that is certified to obliterate paperwork as securely as possible, then recycle the shreds. Or, you can invest in a secure shredding service. Typically, they provide you with a locked bin to slip old paperwork into. Then, according to the schedule you set with the company, they’ll come and pour the bin into a secure shredder. Not only do these shredders align with the latest guidelines, but all those little pieces get mixed in with a trash truck’s worth of other shredded documents. Then the company properly disposes of the shreds themselves.

But disposal doesn’t just hit physical paperwork. You need to make sure your IT admin is thorough in eliminating digital records as well, to ensure tech-savvy hackers can’t recover them. Office appliances like printers and computer towers need to be thoroughly cleared of any residual records before disposal, as well. Anything that has the potential to contain sensitive data should be carefully considered.

A Breath of Fresh Air

An office spring cleaning is more than just a seasonal activity. It’s about starting fresh, an opportunity to revitalize the workplace while practicing environmental consciousness. It’s an investment into the coming year, committing to your employees that you care about their well-being and want to create a great working atmosphere. And it’s about adopting new habits to create a more efficient workspace. So, it’s time to roll up your sleeves, get the team together, order some grub, and kick-start the quarter with a rejuvenated office environment.


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