If you’re aiming to maximize overall workplace productivity then an important place to start is to provide your employees with a clean working environment. A hygienic and clutter-free work station will improve individual employee productivity. The end result: you will be actively making every effort to improve your bottom line for your business.
What causes an unproductive office?
It’s important to understand what factors are detrimental to office productivity so that you can move forward. Statistically, an unhygienic workplace is one of the key factors behind an unproductive office. Other important detrimental factors include workstation clutter as well as stress.
Lack of hygiene
An unhygienic workplace is a breeding ground for bacteria and usually results in viruses. These viruses can hang around items you’d least expect; or those you pay the least amount of attention to. Viruses usually result in the flu, one of the most common direct causes of an unproductive workplace.
Typical office keyboards, mice and telephones are all home to viruses such as the flu, which can linger around for 24 hours. In fact, any office items that are used regularly hold thousands of bacteria. For example, the average office keyboard contains about 7,500 bacteria at any given time.
Bacteria is ultimately a breeding ground for the flu, which commonly results in employee absenteeism. The average employee loses 9 working days a year to sickness and some of this sickness may be attributed to lack of workplace hygiene.
Workspace clutter is another key detriment to productivity. This was proven by Harvard University. Researchers from the university conducted a study which found that students concentrated for longer in a clutter-free environment.
The study was conducted using more than 100 undergraduate students. Roughly half worked in an untidy workspace while the other half were presented with a perfectly tidy working environment.
The students were then presented with a challenge; to attempt a puzzle that was impossible to solve. The result: on average, students in a clutter-free environment stayed concentrated for 7.5 minutes longer than undergraduates working in a cluttered environment.
Also, it’s common sense that a cluttered workspace decreases productivity. Quite simply, there are more distractions. This could result in time spent searching for important documents, increased stress and decreased morale.
What are the benefits of a clean office?
As you may have guessed, some of the benefits of a clean office include decreased absenteeism and increased concentration. Below is a complete list, however:
More efficient use of time
Workspace clutter results in inefficient use of time. Employees could be spending time searching for documents or they could simply be losing focus. By keeping their workplace more organized, employees will spend less time tracking documents and can also remain concentrated for longer thanks to a cleaner workspace.
If employees are already stressed then a cluttered workspace can only increase stress levels.
Working in an unhygienic and messy environment can be demoralizing whether you work in an office or otherwise. Providing employees with a clean environment will improve morale and in turn productivity.
One of the key contributors to an unproductive office is absenteeism. By keeping your employees healthy, you will increase the amount of time they spend at work. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about other employees taking over tasks and increasing their workload.
Greater bottom line
Overall, a clean office environment and productive employees will lead to an increased bottom line.
How to keep your office clean:
Overall, employees and management can make a concerted effort to improve office cleanliness and therefore workplace productivity. Here are a few things employees can do to improve their own productivity:
Employee workstations are full of all types of items. The whole idea behind a clean-desk policy is to forbid clutter. This means that any item (within reason) which isn’t used for more than a month gets thrown out. This will reduce workspace clutter and will result in the benefits mentioned above.
Employees can introduce a quick-clean policy, which requires them to take 10 minutes out of the end of each working day to reorganize their workspace.
Periodic deep cleans:
Perhaps once per month, employees can go through their desk and get rid of all items they no longer require. This can also include wiping down items such as monitors, telephones, and mice.
While employees can ensure that their workspace is tidy, it’s up to management to provide employees with a hygienic workplace. Management can employ the services of a commercial office cleaning business.