How a Clean Workplace Affects Productivity

Author:Denise Perreault

The old saying that attributes success to a disorganized work area is one of the more misleading statements in the business world. There have been studies and white papers released that attribute business success to a clean and organized work area, but it can still be difficult to get people to invest the necessary time in cleaning up their work area to maximize productivity. In order to emphasize the positive effects of a clean workplace, it helps to break this idea down into its component parts and examine them one at a time. The hope is that every worker starts to see the benefits of a clean work area and dedicates the necessary time each day to make sure their work area is as clean as possible.

Staying Focused

Organizing your work area allows you to have the tools you use each day close at hand and helps to prevent you from getting distracted from your work. The excessive stimulus that comes from a cluttered desk can cause a series of negative reactions in your mind that will slow your productivity. An organized desk soothes your mind and allows you to stay focused on the tasks at hand. By being organized, you reduce stress by knowing exactly where to go to get the tools you need.

Believe it or not, your cluttered desk is also a distraction to those around you. Your clutter becomes just as much of a distraction to your coworkers as it does to you and for the very same reasons. To help promote better productivity throughout the office, you should strive to keep your desk clean and organized.

Your Health

One of the simple facts about a disorganized desk is that it creates stress and that leads to a variety of other conditions. Over time, a cluttered desk causes stress that can lead to effects such as sleep issues, stomach problems, fatigue, depression, and potential drug or alcohol abuse. In some cases, all you need to do is observe the behavior of a worker who is known for keeping a cluttered work area to see the real effects it can have on your health.

Another health issue with a cluttered desk is the accumulation of dust and allergens. Just as you can develop allergies and breathing problems from constant exposure to dust and allergens in your home, you can get the same results from your cluttered work area. A proper cleaning of your work area once a week can reduce these issues and prevent consequences such as dry eyes, a scratchy throat, and even dry skin.

Taking Pride in Your Work

Being a professional in the workplace means doing what is necessary to deliver the best possible results. When you maintain a clean workplace, you are putting the pride you have in your work on display and projecting the positive effects of professionalism. A professional image is the cornerstone to developing excellent productivity habits, and a big part of maintaining a professional image is making sure your work area looks clean and organized.

A clean work area helps you to keep all of your important tools close at hand, and a significant part of taking pride in your work is maintaining your tools properly and knowing how to use them. The pride you put into maintaining the tools of your trade translates into better results. It is important to remember that taking pride in your work translates into becoming a more valued employee. Over time, this can lead to promotions and raises based on sustaining excellent levels of performance.

Boosting Morale

Maintaining an organized and clean work area is one of the things you can to do help improve your morale and the morale of your co-workers. A cluttered desk can make it seem like there is always too much work to do, even when you are ahead of schedule. But when you keep your work area clean, you get the satisfaction of being able to keep your work flow under control and boost your own morale. A clean desk inspires pride in yourself, in your accomplishments, and in the work you do. When you need to feel as though your contributions matter to the greater good of the organization, you can see your clean work area and feel like you are doing your part to ensure company success.

A big part of personal morale is feeling that you are accountable for your responsibilities. The cleanliness of your work area is something you can directly affect, and a clean workplace means that you are attending to your responsibilities. A clean and organized workplace fosters a healthy corporate culture, and that is an excellent way to do your part to boost the company's overall morale.

In some cultures, it is a tradition to do a deep cleaning of the entire workplace prior to the start of a new business year. The reason behind this tradition is to clean away all of the problems of the past year to make way for new success. Imagine how much of a positive impact this kind of thinking would have if every employee in every company had this attitude each day of the working year. Success is not an accident; it is the result of hard work. When you take the extra time necessary to keep your workplace clean, you are taking the right steps toward creating a productive and successful environment within your organization.