Tidy desk, tidy mind - the art of decluttering and why you need to do it

Wednesday 27 March 2019

Tidy desk, tidy mind, may not be an ancient adage, but nor is it an old wives' tale that a cluttered workspace affects productivity and therefore has a negative impact on profitability.

If your desk resembles a landfill site, here are our top five reasons for decluttering:

Make a good impression
It's not just your bosses who will notice if your desk always looks like you just emptied your bin over it, your colleagues will too. Technology company, Brother UK, carried out a Workplace Organisation Survey, where they quizzed more than 2,000 UK office workers to uncover the effect that a disorganised desk can have on everyday life. 20 per cent of professionals surveyed said that a workmate's messy space had a negative impact on how much they were able to get done in their working day. Untidiness can affect people's perception of you; 40 per cent of the office workers Brother talked to said that they thought a messy desk must mean that their workmate was disorganised, and, when it comes to their perception of junior colleagues, the stat shot up to 75 per cent. That's bad news for those just starting out in their career who want to make a good impression on their team but just can't seem to keep their clutter under control.

Look after your health
Many of Brother's survey-takers admitted that their messy desk negatively affected their mood, with 31 per cent saying it increased their stress and a massive 49 per cent that it changed the way they felt about going to work each day. But it's not just mental health that suffers. Workplace equipment can be 400 times dirtier than the average toilet seat, and if your desk is covered in clutter, you or a contract cleaner is going to have to move everything to clean it properly and remove all those lurking germs.

Work more efficiently
If your desk is in a mess, it stands to reason that you are going to struggle to find things. Whether that's a memory stick, a specific file or maybe just your pen, every minute you spend looking for items isn't just an unproductive minute, it's also a distraction that interrupts your train of thought. You're also more likely to flit from one task to another if there are reminders spread all over your workspace. Just as a plethora of open tabs on your PC will send you off on more tangents than you will find at a geometry convention, so will an abundance of paperwork or Post-it notes.

Save money
It's easy for stuff to get lost when it's buried amongst a tonne of junk. One in five of those surveyed told Brother they'd misplaced something of value thanks to their disorganised workspace, with 17 per cent losing an item worth somewhere between 50 and 200. Proof that being messy can be an expensive business

Get that promotion
30 per cent of Brother's survey-takers said they believe that a tidy desk is part and parcel of presenting a professional image at work, and one in 10 bosses admitted that a messy workspace could well make them think twice about promoting one of their employees. So, if you're hoping to scale the career ladder or get a raise, it may be time to de-clutter.

Embrace a clear desk policy and spend the last five minutes of your workday tidying away those files. You'll start the next day more positively, you'll stay healthy, and you may even get promoted

To find out more about our daily office cleans and other contract cleaning services call us on 01223 438118.

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