Unpleasant statistics indeed, which show just how dirty an office environment can become if not regularly cleaned. Apart from it not being very nice to be working in a dirty environment all day, it can also have a negative impact on staff productivity. Let’s face it, walking into a grubby office every day is not very motivational.
A dirty and untidy office can do more than just de-motivate though, it can also waste time, and as we all know, time is money. More time spent looking for paperwork, documents and generally being distracted, is less time doing your actual work.
It’s common sense that taking a few minutes daily and weekly to keep a workplace clean and tidy saves time in the long run. You can avoid the inevitable full-on blitz and the wasted time, not to mention the satisfaction of knowing that everything is where it should be for the following day or week.
So, how else does a clean office impact on productivity?
Well, when people are off sick it can be a major issue for many companies, especially when the average employee takes nine sick days every year. Given the number of coughs, colds and bugs that do the rounds, this does suggest that a less than hygienic working environment could be partly responsible.
A recent study by Harvard University, in which a group tried to complete a puzzle in a tidy work space, attempted it for an average of 18.5 minutes before they stopped, while those in a cluttered space gave up after about 11 minutes. This does suggest that people in neat and tidy environments, who are less distracted, will continue to address challenging tasks for significantly longer than those in a cluttered, untidy one – so the quality and quantity of the work is better.
So, here are some top tips for cleaning to help productivity:
- Be organised and keep your work space, and workplace, clean, enabling you to be less distracted and concentrate more
- An average keyboard can harbour up to 7,500 bacteria at any given time, so give it a wipe
- Likewise, with your desk and computer, bugs can remain for 24 hours, so use antibacterial gel
- Minimising the clutter can stop you trying to focus on too many things at once, which in turn, lessens stress
- Save time by having things easily accessible in the place that you put them
- Clean office equipment regularly to maintain performance and minimise fire hazards
- Have a ‘clean desk’ policy where clutter is avoided, and unused items are dumped
- Have regular ‘deep-cleans’ of the office
It may not seem important, but office cleaning could be key to improved productivity.