The Surprising Benefits to Keeping Your Desk Clean
A clean desk and tidy office enable you to find and use everything when you need it. Professionals derive a number of benefits from keeping a well-organized workspace. Advantages abound, especially when clients and coworkers see your desk area regularly: Having a neat work area usually gives the message to others that you are responsible and capable. Most people experience enhanced productivity when they work in an organized office.
Your work area is an extension of you as a professional. When others see your desk and office area, they often get an instant impression of you and your professionalism. A neat and tidy desk usually leads to a favorable impression. A neat person tends to seem efficient, stable, prepared, confident, and capable, which are all good attributes for a professional. A messy desk tends to lead people to wonder about your productivity and overall professionalism. People may assume that a messy person is careless, unreliable, or eccentric, which could detract from their professional reputation.
The psychological effects of working at a messy desk can be significant. Workers are usually less productive and efficient. They may also be less persistent in achieving goals. Persistence in performing tasks is crucial for completing work. Someone lacking persistence is unsuccessful in the self-regulation necessary for task completion. Frustration and weariness are also common issues for people trying to be productive amid chaos. Workers may also feel overwhelmed with messes that they create themselves. This outward situation can be evidence of someone having problems with self-management and the ability to maintain order in an environment.
Working in an environment with stacks of loose paperwork, mountains of unfiled file folders, stray adhesive notes, and crumpled paper that missed the wastebasket can be distracting and demoralizing. Many people have trouble focusing on their work when surrounded by chaos. It’s often difficult to find items when you don’t put them away in a designated place. Hunting for misplaced items results in lost work time and distractions from the tasks at hand. Clutter often transfers to the mind when it surrounds your workspace, making it difficult to concentrate and perform tasks.
To organize a workspace, make it conducive to productivity. This often means eliminating too many visual distractions. A few photos and notes hanging by your desk can make your work area more pleasant, but too many can be distracting. Create a place for every item you need and use, and put things back in their proper place every time you use them. Give yourself plenty of horizontal work space on your desk for tasks. And take a few moments every day to tidy up your desk to maintain organization.
The horizontal workspace at which you sit is the landscape where your productivity occurs. It makes sense that order and organization in this space will increase your work output. The workspace extends farther than just your desk, however. Whether you have an office, cubicle, or other workstation, the quality of the entire area in which you work has a direct correlation with the quality of the work you perform. It’s likely that you spend a significant amount of time in this area, so it’s beneficial for it to be a tidy and pleasant space to be in. Existing in a workspace with adequate lighting and ventilation and controls in place to minimize noise helps workers to feel comfortable and more content, which can help them to get more work done. Studies also indicate that a workplace with natural light helps workers feel happier and more productive. Having live plants in a workplace can also benefit workers, contributing to greater employee satisfaction and overall productivity.
- Five Steps to Workplace Organization
- Innovative Workplaces (PDF)
- How to Organize Getting Organized (PDF)
- Why a Messy Workspace Undermines Your Persistence
- Can a Clean Desk Improve Employee Health and Productivity?
- Is Your Desk Messy or Tidy? Find Out What It May Say About You
- The Influence of Workplace Environment on Workers’ Welfare, Performance, and Productivity (PDF)
- Work Productivity (PDF)
- How to Boost Productivity at Work (PDF)
- Getting Organized at Work (PDF)
- Organizing Your Workspace (PDF)
- Good Housekeeping Techniques in the Workplace (PDF)
- Visual Workplace Handbook (PDF)
- Home Sweet Office (PDF)
- How to Organize Your Office for Maximum Productivity (PDF)
- The Benefits of Personal Control at Work (PDF)
- Time Management for More Effective Results (PDF)
- Impact of Workplace Quality on Employees’ Productivity (PDF)