A pharmacology graduate of St. John’s University, Ellen Scharaga serves OncoMed Pharmaceutical Services as senior vice president of operations. Among her numerous responsibilities in this position, Ellen Scharaga develops and maintains office policies.
Effective office policies are vital to a productive work place, especially in small businesses where communication and teamwork is particularly important to success. The key to enacting a new policy or procedure in the office is simply execution and repetition. If you want to avoid the chaos of poorly filed documents, enact an office policy where all new files must be properly stored immediately. Once this policy becomes routine, the chaos of improper filing becomes easier to avoid.
Similarly, every person in the office should have a clear understanding not only of their job responsibilities but also their in-office responsibilities. As a very basic example, a small office without a custodial staff may have to refill their own water coolers after a delivery. In an unorganized office, water jugs may sit in the break room for days at a time, leading to a messy space and annoyed workers. In a successful office, one person will know that it is his or her responsibility to refill the cooler after the water is delivered.
Lastly, office space must be optimized if office morale is to remain high and workers are to keep to their routines. An office full of narrow pathways and obstacles will discourage employees from leaving their desks to perform even important tasks and will lead to further clutter and stacks of unfiled records. Members of management need only to take a stroll around the office to get an idea of how easily their employees can communicate and contact one another.