How a Clean Working Environment Affects Productivity

Last Updated: 

November 23, 2023

There’s often a phrase that gets passed around the office ‘a messy desk means a messy mind’.It’s a phrase thrown around mainly as a hint to from a desk neighbour to get on with the job of tidying up your desk but is there a truth in there somewhere about a messy working environment and its effect on your productivity.

I’m here to tell you there is.

How do you feel when you walk up to your desk, or home office space first thing in the morning? Do you see all the invoices you haven’t paid yet, along with stock or product samples, phone messages scribbled on notepads and a smattering of sticky notes across your computer screen for the ‘mega urgent’ to do’s? This will likely trigger instant feelings of anxiety and stress, which isn’t a great way to start your day health wise and will affect the way you approach tasks, deal with people and get through your day.

Key Takeaways on How Productivity is Impacted by a Clean Working Environment:

  • Impact of a Messy Workspace: A cluttered and disorganised workspace can trigger feelings of anxiety and stress, negatively impacting how you approach tasks and interact with others. A clean and organised environment is crucial for a positive start to the day and overall mental well-being.
  • Clear Your Desk on Friday: Dedicate time at the end of the week to clean your desk and workspace. This practice helps in starting the new week with a clear mind and the ability to prioritise tasks without feeling overwhelmed.
  • Safety and Cleanliness: Keeping the workspace tidy is not only about productivity but also about safety. Ensuring walkways are clear and tools and equipment are stored safely can prevent accidents and potential legal issues.
  • Do the Floor Walk: Regularly inspect the workspace with your team to maintain safety and cleanliness. This includes clearing walkways, decluttering under desks, and working with office cleaners to maintain a hazard-free environment.
  • Declutter Regularly: Regularly remove unnecessary items and organise your workspace. A decluttered and well-organised space can psychologically boost happiness and productivity, similar to the satisfaction felt when tidying a personal space like a bedroom.
  • Modern Cleaning Techniques for Health: In light of health concerns like COVID-19, employing modern and green cleaning techniques is essential for maintaining a healthy work environment.

These takeaways emphasise the importance of maintaining a clean, organised, and safe workspace for enhancing productivity, reducing stress, ensuring safety, and promoting overall well-being in the workplace.

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Clear Your Desk on Friday

Take an hour one day after work, or on the weekend to clean your desk and working space up to give you every chance at a stress-free start to Monday morning. A clear space will provide you with the opportunity to prioritise easily without feeling overwhelmed.

Clutter and mess can affect your productivity in other, more serious ways too. Walkways need to be free of hazards, and if you are working with equipment and tools, everything needs to be stored safely in its rightful place to avoid incidents. Remove the chance for accidents and a potential WHS lawsuit by keeping things tidy. A serious accident will not only cause pain to the victim of the workplace accident but will most certainly take up time and money, diverting you from running your business day to day.

Do the Floor Walk

Do a floor walk with your team and get everyone thinking a little differently about safety. Clear walkways, remove clutter under desks and work with your office cleaner to create a clean space without rubbish and trip hazards.

Feng Shui may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but there is a reason this practice has been around for centuries. Humans thrive and have a sense of well being when they are working in clean, pleasing environments.

Declutter Regularly

Throw out what you don’t need and pay your office cleaner. Or you can book a removal service to come in and ‘Marie Kondo’ your working space. Get rid of that set of desk drawers with the wonky wheel and bent top drawer. Break down and recycle all of those old cardboard boxes you’ve been saving, yet never used. That draw which houses a tangled ball of old wires and adaptors? Get rid of it. Your working area will feel like a new, fresh space and psychologically you will feel happier.

Remember when you were a kid and the absolute pride you felt when you tidied up your bedroom or moved your bed and furniture around? It felt good, right? You wanted to show your parents how awesome your space was, and you then wanted to spend all of your time there. It’s the exact same feelings and principles when it comes to tidying up your work environment!

With the current COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak now effecting the UK's small businesses, schools and universities, has taken special measures to help tackle the potential epidemic and reduce it's impact using modern, green cleaning techniques.

What’s good for your bedroom is strangely and wonderfully good for your business. So get to work on your desk, warehouse (warehouse pick bins are a great space-saving solution!), home office or shop floor and experience a renewed passion for your work and reduced stress levels as you tackle you working day with renewed vigour.

[Photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash]

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