At one time, it was generally accepted that a messy desk was a sign of productivity.
Architects, engineers and others who are in similar fields are notorious for this common misconception. The actuality of a messy desk is in fact grounded in historical fact; these professionals would normally have slide rules, graphing tools and other necessary items at an arm’s reach.
This was all well and good 20 years ago, but today’s modern desk does not need to be so cluttered in paper and trash. Computers have replaced the need for antiquated tools of the trade. Computer aided drawings, computation software and well-defined file systems have streamlined much of the process.
Messy desks are more than just unsightly. Precious time and productivity is lost in clutter, as people have to dig through files and coffee cups, pictures of the family and the like to find a single scrap of paper with a necessary phone number, formula or small sketch for an important project or client.
Some will argue that a computer ameliorates much of this, but the average computer screen is pock-marked with various files, folders and icons. Some of the folders will have sub folders, meaning time lost tunneling to find a single document or file. Those who do not routinely clean, debug or defragment computers will have the additional issue of a potentially slow system, compounded with networking issues, lag and the omnipresent lost connection.
Compound a messy desk or computer to a collaborative project of two or more people. It can be difficult enough if the collaboration is taking place in the same office, but imagine if the project is across town, state, country or even the world. The clutter is now compounded as the other members of the collaborative project may be in a similar cluttered situation.
This is more than frustrating to the user and desk owner. For an employer, it means lost revenue, income and profits; for the employee, it means lost time, potential disciplinary action and at a more extreme example, termination. Granted, this may seem harsh. Stock holders and stake holders are not exactly understanding when projects run behind schedule because of issues that could be resolved beforehand. They are the lifeblood of a group and company, so keeping them happy with work that is on schedule and in budget is paramount.
This seems an overwhelmingly difficult task. It is not. What is necessary is a system that will organize, manage and delegate tasks. Something that will work with the collaboration, not against it. A system that is available anywhere, anytime from any computer. One that is backed up routinely, safely and off-site.
The system should be intuitive, user-focused and able to juggle several tasks and people at one time.
There is such a system. IPM Global is a world leader in project management software for professionals in the construction and engineering industry. With offices in several continents and major cities, there is a software package that will help you and your company. Visit www.ipmglobal.net for additional information or to schedule a demo.
Meanwhile, go clean off your desk.
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