We have probably all heard the saying that a cluttered desk is a sign of genius. Still, can having a cluttered desk or unclean office impede productivity? The answer is: yes!
We’ve all probably seen an episode or two of The Profit where the host invests in a business only to see that their manufacturing process is a total mess. Not having the right workflow in your facility can hinder speed of productivity and create confusion with your employees. This happens in both offices where items are created, but it also happens in offices where no tangible goods are made. If you have an office where someone can never find the paper or copy toner, you may want to rethink the flow of your office.
Increase focus by decreasing messy desks
Workers with unclean desks overflowing with things can hamper focus. On top of that, additional workspace items can lead to more surfaces for germs to land and grow. While office workers should be allowed some level of personalization to their space, it may be wise to limit how much a worker can put on his or her desk space. Having a hundred flower tipped pens doesn’t help a worker’s productivity much.
A Harvard University study found that students tasked with working in a cluttered workspace worked 7.5 minutes less than those who had a cleaner workspace. Of course it is common sense that less items equals less distractions, but less time searching for things means that people can focus more on their work as well.
Cleaner spaces can make people happier
Which do you feel better walking in to? A home with lots of items in no particular level of organization or a Scandinavian style minimalist designed home? While many people are comfy in their things, there is a certain level of envy for minimalist design… and there’s a reason for it! We love the idea that less is more, and the less time we spend looking at useless details the happier we might be.
The same works with the office. Workers who are in a clean, well organized office are generally happier to be in the uncluttered environment than those who are in dirty or cluttered environments. Take time to declutter areas and try for organization if you don’t have much in place already.
Change it up, and don’t forget to update your office!
Sometimes these can be simple and effective changes in your office, such as replacing a ratty break room couch or chair. Even repainting marked, dirty or stained walls can help improve morale and keep people from focusing on how “dirty”, “gross”, and “worn” your office space might be. Small replacements such as replacing the ceiling light that has been broken for six months or the molding that is lifting off of the wall can do wonders to help your workers feel better about their work space.
Don’t forget that a dated workplace doesn’t look great for any outside visitor you may be bringing in as well. If you have carpeting from the 80s and a color scheme reminiscent of a 70s bowling alley, it might be time to start considering an office facelift.
How do you help your office workers stay clean, happy, and healthy? Let us know in the comments below.