Does having a messy workplace result in lower productivity? There is an ongoing debate regarding this matter, with some saying that messy people are actually productive geniuses. It has been said that some of the most successful people – such as J.K. Rowling and Albert Einstein – actually thrived in a disorganised environment. However, there is proof that having a cluttered workplace can decrease our ability to concentrate on a task, leading to productivity loss. In a recent study of U.S. office workers, it was found that there is a link between office clutter and stress, and that the negative effects of clutter on emotional and mental health resulted in delayed decision making.
While some people may be able to perform well amidst a chaotic work environment, it cannot be denied that having a clean, organised, and clutter-free office can help to increase productivity. If you’ve got a messy workplace, here’s what you can do to clean up and improve overall work performance.
Start with your desk
Before tackling other areas in your workplace, it’s best to start with your personal work space. As a Harvard study indicates that clutter can affect our mental health by making us feel stressed or depressed, it’s clear that keeping a clear desk should be a priority among office workers. Your work table should be free from unnecessary items, and more importantly, it should be organised so you can find things when you need them. So get rid of old receipts and old pens, and take those unwashed mugs to the kitchen. Have a filing system in place, and make sure you give your desk a regular wipe down, especially if you regularly eat at your desk. Only keep the necessary supplies and files on your desk, and keep other items in drawers for a neat work space.
Target problematic areas
Another reason why workers become less productive is because of illness. In a survey of more than 90,000 workers, it was found that those who had a chronic health condition contributed to a loss of productivity amounting to $84 billion. If you wonder why you’re often sick or have frequent cold symptoms, then it’s possible that your office is making you ill, and the walls, floors or ceiling may be infested with harmful microfungus such as black mould. Black mould infestation has been pinpointed as one of the most common causes of health symptoms like coughs, colds and allergy-like symptoms. Long-term exposure to black mould is believed to cause health problems ranging from nosebleeds to memory loss, which is why it’s important to detect, remove and prevent the spread of black mould right away. If your workplace is badly infested, it’s best to let the professionals handle the removal of black mould, and workers should not be in the office while treatment is ongoing.
Make cleaning a shared responsibility
Cleaning is a job that should be equally shared among office workers. Apart from regular cleaning and organising of respective workplaces, it’s also a good idea to let everyone know that they should clean up after using common areas such as the break room and the toilets. Assigning a cleaning crew for the day can also help to keep clutter and mess to a minimum, and this way, everyone gets to participate in daily cleanup activities.
Having a clean and clutter-free workplace can increase productivity, and it also allows employees to have a healthy place to work in. Try these tips to have a clean and organised space for better work performance and improved worker health.