There is nothing like a deep spring cleaning to clear the dust and get rid of the cobwebs gathering in the corners. Having a clean home can restore joy and help focus your energy on bigger, more challenging tasks. Putting in the effort to organize, declutter, and clean up your spaces is well worth it at home.
It’s the same with our businesses. Having a clean, well-organized environment is just as important at work. With all that we have to do at work on a daily basis, it can be hard to put cleaning at the top of the priority list. But making “Spring Cleaning” a priority will help improve productivity, team morale, and possibly even team members’ health!
Did you know that a cluttered workspace is actually proven to decrease productivity? A Journal of Neuroscience study published in 2011 showed that having multiple stimuli present in the visual field distracts workers. Those piles of clutter within sight of workspaces competes for attention in the brain, making it harder for employees to focus on the task at hand.
The study also showed that clutter has a negative impact on memory information processing. By keeping things clean and organized, you are actually helping employees do their jobs. Sure, you may spend more time and money on cleaning, organizing, and keeping the supplies stocked, but you make up for it in employee productivity and happiness. Organizing supplies and keeping them in a centralized location also minimizes the interruptions that cause slowdowns in productivity.
Physical clutter becomes mental clutter. Much like having a clean room at home, having a clean office brings joy and minimizes the distractions that slow our productivity. Imagine walking into an office on Monday morning and seeing a cluttered desk, piles of unorganized papers, and food wrappers left from last week’s snack breaks. This scene causes stress in the brain, as there are many different areas that need your attention – none of which are related to whatever task you were focused on when you walked through the door. Having a clean workspace helps boost your morale. Partially because it simply allows you to focus on your job without numerous distractions pulling you in different directions.
Another reason to conduct Spring Cleaning is to help create a healthier environment for employees. There’s no productivity killer like an illness that gets passed through the office, with people falling like dominoes in its path. Keeping the office clean is not just about preventing distractions from visual stimuli. Germs, dust buildup, and poor indoor air quality all contribute to colds, the flu, viruses, asthma, and allergic reactions. Businesses lose millions of workdays and productivity each year because of colds or the flu. A clean environment fosters better health and helps keep the team productive.
Make a plan of attack for your Spring Cleaning. Have the right cleaning supplies on hand and invest in the right organizational office supplies so your teams can make quick work of the piles. What kind of organizational supplies? Some of you who office at home, or who are over achievers, may like some of the ideas I found on Pinterest®, or some of these items I found at The Container Store®, or maybe Office Depot® or OfficeMax® is more your bag. Make sure these supplies have their proper place in your office and that everyone is aware of the locations.
Encourage employees to minimize the distractions in their workspaces. This goes beyond clutter – if there’s something that distracts you or others, it simply doesn’t belong in the workspace. Now, this doesn’t mean we should work in plain white rooms with no windows! Keep things that motivate you or help keep you in a positive mindset. Spring Cleaning is meant to help cultivate a workspace that improves your productivity, morale, health, and enjoyment. So, pick up a broom and a dustpan and get to work!