By Cathy White
Keeping your workplace clean ensures increased productivity and reduced stress while working. Office Max completed a survey recently that found over 77 percent of Americans feel like disorganization negatively affects their motivation.
Some large companies spend a lot of money on upkeep of their offices, believing that it keeps employee productivity up and improves their customer-facing image. There are some things you can do yourself, however, to maintain a clean and tidy workplace. What follows are six tips for maintaining a clean, organized workspace that you can be productive and happy in.
Don’t Eat At Your Desk
This one is a no-brainer. Although we’re all guilty of eating at our desks for convenience, it has a tendency to be messy. And if you’re eating with your hands, there’s a chance you’ll get your mouse, keyboard and desk area sticky or covered with crumbs. Try to limit desk eating to simple snacking of things you can eat with silverware, like salad, a cup of fruit, or dry granola bar. In general, though, it’s better for workplace morale to have a designated area for employees to eat. It promotes socialization and a healthy workplace culture.
Clean As You Go
As things come across your desk, take care of them. Accumulated piles of papers can make a desk look messy fast. Have a designated paper tray with two bins — one for paper that’s coming in that needs to be filed or sent elsewhere, and paper that’s going out to other departments or individuals. This is a generalized system, and you may want to customize it to suit your needs, depending on the generalized duties of your job.
Contain Paper and Digital Files
Many offices these days have gone entirely paperless, so it’s much easier to contain paper in general, but this can translate into digital files as well. Keeping your computer’s desktop organized and files contained in their proper place makes them easier to access later. Creating weekly folders helps with this, as you can add notes and documents that you’re actively working on.
As for actual paper, develop a system that works for you. Have a file cabinet either built into your desk or in your office space that lets you file things easily. Depending on the type of work you do, you might need two file cabinets. One for current work that you need to access frequently, which might be part of your desk, and the other cabinet for long-term storage of files you don’t access as much.
Clutter is what results when you don’t have a proper place to put things. This is why in an office environment, everything needs to have its place in order for your work environment to remain neat.
File cabinets are great ways to organize paper, and small countertop desktop organizers keep pens, post its and other items contained. Closets are good places to store your coat and belongings, and a utility closet is a good choice for storing paper and other extra office supplies.
Tidy Up At the End of the Day
This is one of the most simple solutions you can employ for maintaining a clean workspace. If you take the time at the end of the day to tidy up and put things in their proper place, it makes it easier to transition into the work day the next day. This is especially true if it’s before a weekend because you want to return to a clean office space to maximize productivity.
Cable management is huge when you’re working with so many electronics. Not only are they unsightly, they can accumulate dust and make you feel more disorganized. Make use of holes in your desk to run cables through to keep them out of sight, or experiment with using decorative boxes. Holes cut in each end lets you run cables through neatly while hiding their appearance. Zip ties also help to bundle cords neatly together.
Keep the Floors Clean of Dust
Keeping the floors clean of dust can be achieved with regular sweeping and vacuuming. If you work in a small business, taking turns with sweeping and vacuuming can help maintain a clean workplace. Larger businesses will typically hire a cleaning service to take care of this for you.
When you have a clean space to work, you can increase your productivity and reduce your stress levels as you complete tasks.