Workplace clutter negatively impacts the mental and physical health and performance of students and office workers and may be a sign of underlying mental or emotional trauma.
Cleaning Workplace Clutter
Clutter in school and work environments, while inevitable, can lead to significant degradation in occupant health and performance if not properly attended to regularly.
Unfortunately, the prevalence of clutter is more common than you might imagine.
According to a 2009 study conducted by the National Association of Professional Organizers;
- 32% of respondents admitted to working in a disorganized environment.
- 45% stated they only clean up the mess once a month or less, and;
- 30% admitted to losing an important document due to the chaos.
The most commonly given reason?
Food--eating at the desk--a habit that should be discouraged for multiple health reasons.
Clutter poses several significant challenges to school and business administrators, managers, and occupants, including:
- Clutter attracts dust which can lead to decreases in indoor air quality (IAQ), resulting in additional respiratory and other health issues that negatively impact performance and occupant well being.
- Too much clutter complicates or prevents proper cleanup, further contributing to low-quality IAQ, as well as the buildup of dangerous germs and bacteria.
- Clutter can result in fines from OSHA.
- Visible messes distract the brain and force it to compete for focus, resulting in the dramatically reduced quality and quantity of occupant output, especially in highly cognitive fields and functions, and;
- Clutter typically in hours of wasted occupant time per week searching for materials.
All of which ultimately results in lower test scores and profitability, as well as reduced occupant well being and satisfaction--all while increasing unnecessary healthcare expenses, so much so that reducing or even eliminating clutter should not be viewed as an expense, but a necessary action to increase productive output.
The Profitability of Decluttering
The simple fact of the matter is, clutter costs.
According to the National Association of Professional Organizations, paper clutter is the No. 1 problem for most businesses.
Studies show the average person wastes 4.3 hours per week searching for papers, which adds stress and frustration to the workplace while reducing concentration and creative thinking.
The average executive loses one hour of productivity per day searching for missing information.
And, according to the Small Business Administration, the biggest burden for small business is the inability to properly service customers, increase sales and improve the bottom line because of mishandled paperwork.
Removing these messes can have an immediate and demonstrable impact on performance and productivity, as well as an indirect effect on cleaning times and facility health and performance.
Clutter Removal and Cleaning Tips
Clutter removal can be difficult, as recent pop culture television has demonstrated--a challenge that may be the result of underlying mental or emotional issues, so it is vital to tread carefully with specific individuals.
Ultimately, the goal is to increase mental and physical wellness by removing unnecessary distractions and, what essentially amounts to garbage from an occupants workspace.
Some simple tips to accomplish this are to:
- Identify what is trash and dispose of it immediately.
- Use technology to reduce storage requirements for hard documents.
- Employ organizational and storage furniture to remove clutter from occupant work areas and offices.
- Encourage occupants to clean and tidy up their desk at least weekly, and;
- Empty all trash and recycling receptacles regularly.
References & Resources
- Workplace Clutter
- 6 reasons to clean out the clutter
- How to Get Rid of Workplace Clutter and Why You Should
- How to Prevent Clutter in the Workplace
- Workplace Clutter
While workplace and classroom clutter may appear benign on the surface, the underlying causes and documented results of the accumulation of paperwork, garbage, and other unnecessary items in our lives have profoundly negative impacts on the purpose and function of schools and businesses.
From a custodial perspective, excessive clutter, specifically on or around desks, especially where food is involved, can severely hamper cleaning and disinfection tasks, leading to increasingly unhealthy environments that can become dangerous rather quickly if left unattended.
Clutter removal requires a knowledgeable hand to identify that which is vital to the profitable operation of any organization, and that which is merely taking up unnecessary space, but partnering with an experienced service provider can significantly reduce overhead and the amount of time necessary to successfully clear your facility and return it to ideal operational levels.
Contact us today and discover why Vanguard Cleaning Systems® is the Standard of Clean® for businesses throughout Northwest Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.
In Oklahoma, dial 918-960-4450
In Arkansas, dial 479-717-2410
In Missouri, dial 417-812-9777