A critical component of a healthy and productive office is a clutter-free workplace, and spring is the perfect time to get started.
Workplace Decluttering a Crucial First Step to Quality Spring Cleaning
Conventionally, March has been the ideal month for North American businesses and households to begin the spring cleaning process due to improved weather conditions, low amounts of air pollution, and moderate temperatures--making it the ideal time to remove dust.
In more modern times, spring cleaning is looked upon by facility managers and custodians as an opportunity to restore and repair floors and other surfaces from winter storm damage and deicing chemicals.
However, an emerging consideration, and an action that must precede both effective dusting and floor maintenance, is removing workplace clutter.
Recent research has discovered a strong correlation between workplace clutter and a negative impact on high-priority occupational outcomes, including occupant health, stress, performance, and emotional well-being.
According to a 2020 article published in the North American Journal of Psychology;
Using multiple hierarchical linear regressions and a moderated hierarchical regression (controlling for gender, age, and employment length) showed that office clutter did predict emotional exhaustion.
As office clutter increased, so did a person’s level of emotional exhaustion.
There was also a positive relationship between office clutter impact and perceived stress levels, so as office clutter impact increased, stress increased.
[...] office clutter significantly impacted certain occupational outcomes pertinent to employees’ health and performance, such as stress and emotional exhaustion.
Previous studies have found that emotional exhaustion has been linked to physical health issues such as colds, headaches, sleep problems, depression, and gastrointestinal problems; it has also been linked to workplace outcomes such as job satisfaction, turnover intention, perceptions of workplace justice, organizational commitment, and even job performance.
Start Spring Cleaning Strong With A Clean Desk Policy
A core challenge with eliminating office clutter is a powerful psychological attachment to the items.
The reasons for retaining the junk vary from person to person--from hope for some future outcome to a strong belief in some future need.
Regardless of the reasoning, the outcome is consistent--poor health and performance, which negatively impacts the employee and the business.
To resolve this issue, and as an ideal method for promoting all-around workplace cleanliness and hygiene, the first step is to implement a clean desk policy.
Tools for implementing a clean desk policy include:
- Designated storage areas for supplies, mail, and documents, especially secure internal and customer information.
- Digital document services/going paperless, and;
- Written policies detailing occupant responsibilities that are adhered to from the top down.
Advantages to clean desk policies include:
- Decreased operational expenses due to reduced physical supplies (paper products, warehousing, and destruction) and health-related productivity issues (worker stress and burnout).
- Improved security for internal business matters and customer-related information.
- Better cleaning and sanitation outcomes that reduce workplace-related illnesses and infections.
- Improved HIPAA and ISO 27001 compliance, and;
- An overall better outward appearance.
Clean Desk Tips From the Pros
Maintaining a clean desk and workplace requires daily attention.
- Clean as you go and don't leave messes for the end of the day.
- Empty the trash at the end of every workday.
- Clear your desktop off completely to allow custodians to clean and disinfect without obstruction.
- Keep project files organized and move to designated filing areas or scan into digital formation and remove as soon as possible, and;
- Keep personal items to a minimum.
References & Resources
- Office Clutter and Its Inflfluence: Assessing Engagement, Satisfaction, Tension, Stress, and Emotional Exhaustion
- The Psychology Behind All That Clutter You Can’t Get Rid Of
- The Benefits of a Clean Desk Policy
- Establishing a Clean Desk Policy
Occupant wellbeing is rooted in workplace sanitation and hygiene.
The first step in any well-designed cleaning and infection prevention and control program requires the removal of physical obstructions and clutter from all horizontal surfaces, including the floor, tables, counters, and desks.
Implementing a clean desk policy is the first step towards a cleaner and healthier workplace, and the start of spring cleaning is the best time to start.
Outsourcing your organization's cleaning and infection prevention and control services to an experienced provider is a proven method for onboarding vital services without significantly increasing costs or management overhead.
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