There is no secret that a clean environment can boost morale. Studies have shown that a tidy space can help your overall well-being and improve your mental health. If a clutter-free home has a positive impact on your state of mind, why should it be any different when it comes to your workspace? After all, this is where you spend most of your day and where your attention is highly required.
For instance, a 2011 study has revealed that untidiness and clutter can cause concentration problems, which can affect your productivity. Having a crowded work area can have a negative effect on your visual cortex, the part of the brain that deals with capturing and processing visual information. So, it is only natural that if your workspace includes various unnecessary objects, you can get easily distracted.
What’s more, in a work environment, you won’t be alone in the office. When working in a team, no matter its size, the team members will probably have different hygiene habits. So, it might be possible that you will not synchronize with others when it comes to cleaning a common area. For this reason, it is vital you implement specific rules that every individual should follow. Besides, there are certain things that you can do collectively to keep the office clean and free of distractions to increase productivity.
1. Go paperless
In a professional environment such as an office, it isn’t uncommon to gather a high number of documents and all sorts of important files. Until recently, there wasn’t much you could do to avoid this kind of clutter. From contracts, essential documents such as accounting records, bank statements and so on, you could easily find yourself surrounded by paper.
However, the most significant advantage of living in a technologically focused era is that you can store, edit and share most necessary documents in a digital format. So, instead of printing everything and gathering a multitude of records that you are forced to store in the office or an archive, you can make use of digital tools that can safely store everything.
You won’t have to worry about losing vital information. These digital apps not only have the ability to store all types of documents, but you can access the data from any device provided you make a note of your email and password. What’s more, going paperless is also a chance for you to decrease the paper waste you produce, an action that positively impacts the environment.
2. Storage is key
Decluttering the work environment is an action that everyone has to do on a regular basis. It isn’t just tidying up the workspace from time to time, but also about maintaining it tidy – so consistency is essential. This way, you create a healthy habit. A method of keeping your workspace decluttered is with storage spaces and boxes which keep objects organized. For instance, having separators inside drawers can allow you to keep post-it notes and other smaller items which could otherwise get lost easily. Apart from that, a filing cabinet could help you store any vital documents which cannot be kept only in digital form.
Besides the separate desk area that every employee should keep organized, storage cabinets can be used for common spaces which everyone uses, such as the kitchen. Moreover, cleaning supplies should be neatly stored in a box or container. This way, everyone knows of their location, and they can use them whenever necessary.
3. Cleaning schedule
If you are working in a smaller office, a great way to get everyone involved and maintaining the work environment clean is by making a cleaning schedule. This could include small tasks, such as washing the dishes, emptying the waste bins, or making a list of any necessary items that need to be bought. Besides following a cleaning schedule, when you are working with other people, it is crucial you respect everyone’s needs whenever you use the kitchen or other common break area and avoid leaving dirty dishes around.
On the other hand, keeping a work environment clean implies more time-consuming tasks, such as vacuuming and mopping the floors and adequately cleaning the rooms. As you are working full time and have responsibilities of your own to fulfil, there is little time left for you and your co-workers to clean the entire office. For this reason, an idea would be to make use of professional cleaning services that can provide suitable cleaning solutions for corporations. Employing a weekly cleaning service will help maintain the work environment clean. Experts from SCS Group explain that “When employees are doing their part in keeping the workspace tidy, it will contribute to a healthy atmosphere and stronger working relationships. Respecting a cleaning schedule rigurously will also improve the team’s productivity, as a clutter-free space has no distractions.”
4. Be wary of wires
While using many devices can benefit your work environment in decluttering the office from an excess amount of paper, they can cause other issues. With a lot of computers and printers and all sorts of devices, you must use a high number of cables and wires. This can also cause disorganization if you leave them unattached, as they can get easily tangled. Not to mention, many wires and cables can be a safety hazard for everyone in the office, as they might cause accidents.
An idea to avoid this is to arrange every cable and wire behind the desk in a tidy manner by using a cord organizer either made from wood or plastic. Similarly, you could use a cable management with Velcro ties which can keep the wires fixed together. This way, you keep them organized and out of the way where people could stumble upon them. Moreover, if there are out of sight and tied together, it will eliminate that feeling of disorganized space when you see a multitude of wires lying around gathering dust.
In any professional workspace, it is vital you implement each of the tips mentioned above to create a proper work environment. To maintain it clean and healthy, it is crucial that every employee keeps their individual work area free of clutter. This, combined with professional cleaning services employed every once in a while, will guarantee a proper work environment that can increase productivity.