By Carl Pullein.
Workplace cleanliness is essential for overall business success, especially since untidy workplaces cost businesses $2.5 million a year due to lost productivity, the International Data Corporation found. Cluttered and chaotic workplaces tend to decrease efficiency as employees become easily distracted and waste time searching for important documents and equipment. Moreover, unclean conditions spread harmful bacteria, which results in illness and an increase in sick days amongst employees. Fortunately, it’s easy to maintain a clean workplace that can boost productivity and overall revenue for your business in an environment that’s tidy and organised.
Minimize sick days
Maintaining a clean office keeps staff healthy and limits the number of sick days taken by employees. The average desk, for example, harbours over 10 million types of bacteria, making it a whopping 400 times more dirty than a toilet seat. As a result of unclean desks, two thirds of employees are at risk of falling ill.
Encouraging employees to sanitise their desks before and after their shifts can help minimise the spread of bacteria, keep sickness at bay, and therefore maximise productivity. It’s also important to use safe and non-toxic cleaning solutions to further protect employee health. For example, avoid potentially harmful cleaning products such as, formaldehyde, ammonia, and sodium lauryl sulfate. These ingredients, although effective at cleaning, can exacerbate allergies and irritate the skin, eyes, ears, nose, and throat in particularly susceptible employees.
Keeping the office neat, tidy, and organised ultimately saves you time — your most precious resource. When paperwork is correctly filed and kept in a set place, employees don’t need to worry about remembering where to find certain information when they need it. Productivity automatically improves as a result. Matsumoto Shoukei, a zen Buddhist monk, recommends cleaning first thing in the morning in order to refresh and clear the mind. Getting cleaning out of the way early sets you up for a pleasant and productive day. Additionally, ensuring your workspace is clean and tidy at the end of the day means there’s less to do the next morning and allows you to start work earlier, saving you even more time and boosting productivity.
A Princeton University study found clutter makes it harder for people to focus on particular tasks. Specifically, the researchers discovered that the visual cortex is easily overwhelmed by task-irrelevant objects, making it difficult to allocate attention and complete set tasks efficiently. A clean and clear workspace eliminates distractions and can therefore help employees better concentrate on the task at hand. Overall productivity is boosted since employees are able to work efficiently and free from distraction. When employees are able to give their full focus to a task, they also perform better quality work.
Keeping a clean and tidy workspace is vital for increasing overall business productivity. In a calm and organised environment, employees are healthier, less stressed, and are better able to focus on their work. Cleanliness and organisation should therefore be a priority for all business owners.
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