Home / office organizing ideas / OFFICE ORGANIZATION - East-Comm
Case Study: Vassar College
Date: August, 2004
Problem: Vassar College had gone through two SIDs in four years. The office was in
organizational disarray and coaches were not receptive to the SID because of poor
organizational and professional skills. The physical office was a mess and wasn't an
inviting and friendly place for staff to visit either socially or professionally.
SOLVING THE PROBLEM: Phase 1
CLEANING THE CLUTTER
? My first two weeks were spent tossing old documents, newspapers, media
guides, etc. The office had become a haven for junk and needed to be cleaned
up before anything else could take place.
? During this time, old file folders were tossed, new ones created and organized
first alphabetically by team with a specific color and then by year.
? File cabinets were trimmed to archive a five-year period for each team. Previous
years received new file folders (as necessary) and were archived in storage
boxes and placed out of the office but in an accessible area.
PHYSICAL OFFICE SPACE
? Vassar's SI office is large and spacious, I am very lucky. However, what I
inherited was awful. The physical layout of the office was tight and cluttered.
There were too many desks, narrow paths, no room to move. I removed the
office of all unnecessary chairs and desks, filing cabinets, etc. The office was
rearranged as well, so that I now have my desk overlooking a portion of our golf
course. With creative handy work, the desk was converted into a large U-shape
structure with plenty of desk space for the master computer and plenty of
organizational areas. Specific work spaces were created for students. Bulletin
boards were shifted, file cabinets moved, an entirely new office created.
ORGANIZING THE COMPUTERS
? The office computers were technically neglected and were structurally
? The master Mac computer needed its own organization. Floating files/photos
were organized into specific categories/teams. Old files were taken off the hard
drive, burned to a disc and archived.
? Individual IBM laptops went through a similar process. Statcrew and
necessary programs such as Adobe InDesign and Photoshop were placed
on all laptops, not just one.
? Laptops were designated for specific sports so as to keep them organized
and to reduce daily wear and tear. The CIS Department worked on all
computers to get them healthy using defrag, scan disk, antivirus, etc. All
the aforementioned enabled me to work confidently and without computer
problems that would disrupt my organizational plan
? I had only one month to get organized for a massive Fall season
? I purchased a Dry-Erase Calendar and mapped out our entire athletic
season. I kept the colors simple: Home was red, black was away. This
was essential in staffing home games and communicating with opposing
SIDs. I could plan weeks ahead which ORGANIZED my entire world.
SOLVING THE PROBLEM: Phase 2
MEETINGS WITH COACHES
? I spent at least one hour getting to know each of our coaches covering 25
? This was done very informally, over lunch or a soft drink, in a casual office
setting. I had to earn their respect, mend fences, listens to concerns.
Many of these meetings took place in the refurbished SI office.
? Most importantly, I had to understand their needs so there wouldn't be any
? Conversely, they need to know how I work and what my expectations
were. As an example, we set deadlines for rosters, etc. and they became
aware of what the Sports Information pre-game, in-game and post-game
would be and how they would be implemented.
? We developed mutual communication and respect.
SOLVING THE PROBLEM: Phase 3
? I met with each student individually to learn more about them. While it was
important to access their particular strengths, I wanted to get to know
them personally, develop a relationship and a trust since for a few I would
be their third SID in a four-year period.
? The right student was slotted to work the right sport and/or handle the right
Sorts Information work. I didn't put a student in a position to fail by
mandating specific duties without any flexibility. If the student fails, the
office fails. In essence, I didn't try to stick a square peg into a round hole.
? We all learned programs like Statcrew together. No one was left alone or
felt they had to learn everything on an island.
? Job descriptions and office/game hours were created and posted. Any
confusion that existed in the past was eliminated.
? A "team" atmosphere was created. Although the SID was the "boss," I
never made the students feel anything but a partner in the success of the
office. They were constantly commended for their work, appreciated in the
appropriate ways and their efforts made known to the Athletics Director.
? I also actively recruited for the present and future, realizing that graduation
causes turnover. I sought out potential workers, visited appropriate
classes on campus, and asked a lot of questions to learn the environment.
Seniors were asked to mentor underclassmen.
SOLVING THE PROBLEM: Phase 4
? Vassar has 25 sports and one fulltime SID. Having good organizational
skills would be essential in handling the work load.
? In order to be productive and not live in the office 24/7, three major
organizational strategies were implemented.
? The first was to house the athletic web site on my home computer so
updates didn't require me to be in the office. It goes without saying, but I'd
rather be in my home office working late at night and getting ahead of the
curve rather than living at Vassar.
? The second was to install Statcrew for all sports on my home computer.
To transfer files from office to home, I purchased a 1-gig USB drive that
would easily store all the Statcrew files plus web photos and other
important office documents. When our teams are on the road, game files
and cumulative stats are uploaded just as if I were in the office. This way,
Web and stat work is done efficiently and quickly. The USB drive hardly
ever leaves my pocket, it is that essential to my organization. But the key
to using this devise, especially with Statcrew, is to remember where (USB
or office computer) the most recent files are located so you'll uploading the
most current data.
? The third was to create the proper home game coverage that hadn't been
done before. When we host a single event, I urge the SI staff to complete
our tasks in 59 minutes. With good organization, a cooperative staff,
concentration and attention to detail, there's no reason why post game
work should take much longer - and in our case, we don't take short cuts
or compromise the quality of our work. It work extends to 89 or 99
minutes, so be it. The idea is to work efficiently and with an organizational
purpose. To this end, we have an organizational routine and check list of
responsibilities - a flow that outlines which tasks should be handled first.
? As an example, one person handles the writing, another handles all web-
related updates and file dissemination and if enough workers are
available, another handles faxing, copying, necessary phone calls to AP,
local paper, etc. Otherwise, those tasks are divided among the working
How to organize your office better?Method 2 of 4: Arranging the RoomPlace your desk away from the door to maximize your workflow. ...Orient the desk to take advantage of any natural light. Note where the windows in your office are located, if you have them.Create a comfortable space with carpets, plants, or bookshelves if you want. ...Make sure everything in your office will help you stay productive. ...More items...
Title: OFFICE ORGANIZATION
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