Having a clean and orderly space is directly linked to our productivity. Research shows “our physical environments significantly influence our cognition, emotions, and behavior, affecting our decision-making and relationships with others.” That means clean spaces also affect our happiness.
Many people think of their homes when wanting to have a clean and orderly space that keeps them happy. However, workplaces are often neglected and require attention too. This is a huge issue (though not always realized) for business owners because they can lose money from unproductive staff. Did you know that workplace stress costs American businesses roughly $190 billion every year in health care costs alone? It’s about time for everyone to recognize how clutter plays into our work-life — and do something to clean up the mess.
Here are 3 ways to help keep your workspace clean and organized:
1. Regularly wash your hands and the surfaces you work on.
Scientists have found computer keyboards have 7,500 bacteria per swab while the average toilet seat only has 5,400. This bacteria can affect your health and make it so you have to take more sick days in a year.
Here are my favorite alcohol-free antibacterial wipes which can help you keep clean.
2. Declutter your space.
If you can, go paperless. More and more companies are keeping only digital copies of their work. This free’s up valuable space and saves you time when searching for documents. You can also hide cords (which also get rid of tripping hazards) to cut back on overall clutter.
By decluttering your space, you’re much more likely to stay focused for longer. In a Harvard study involving 100 students, half the group was given an unsolvable task in a messy office, while the others were given the same job in a clean one. The experiment studied the self-regulation of an individual (how persistent they were). Interestingly enough, the students sitting in the orderly room spent 1.5 times more time on the challenge before giving up.
What does this mean? Well, mess affects the control we have over our environment, which cuts down on the mental resource we have available to us. Finally, this affects our self-regulatory abilities.
3. Ensure you have the right tools for the job.
Losing that one pencil, document, or tool you need to get your job done is the most frustrating experience ever! According to Newsweek magazine, “The average American spends over 55 minutes looking for things [they] cannot find.” By conducting a semi-regular audit of the supplies you need, you can ensure that you have what you need when you need it. I know it sounds so simple, but this is key. Also, keep a mental note of those not so useful tools in your workspace and throw out anything you haven’t used in the last 6 months. You’ll thank me later.
Hopefully, these tips help with keeping you motivated and working hard. After writing this blog, my new mantra is a tidy space means a tidy mind. If you need me, you’ll find me cleaning out my desk.