How clutter can hinder your productivity (and what to do about it)

When you own business or manage a team of employees, you know how vital productivity and efficiency is. If you work from home, in a factory, warehouse or office, clutter can affect you. Without time and effort dedicated to your environment, productivity and motivation can diminish. This can have some adverse effects on the business including loss of revenue and the overall success of the company.

Physical obstructions

In an office, physical obstacles can come in the form of archive boxes, files, and general clutter.  Typically, one space in the office will suffer as the makeshift storage room. The kitchen, break room or even the boardroom will be filled with unnecessary items. Things will be lost, or general comfort levels will be low.  In work environments like a warehouse, there can be more substantial clutter that will cause more significant problems.

Psychological effects

A disorder can influence how a team member thinks and acts. It can take a toll on the day ahead.  If a working environment is messy, a sense of haphazardness can take its toll and trickle down to employees, affecting them more than you think.

Health and safety concerns

If there are boxes, clutter, and mess in the office, a team member could trip and fall, potentially be putting them out of action. It’s in other work environments such as workshops, factory, and warehouses when clutter and mess can start having serious effects. If someone is hurt, there can be workers compensation, and business processes will suffer.

Reduced team morale

High morale is essential in an office. Working in a messy environment is not motivating. Don’t expect employees to enjoy coming to work if it’s a mess. Some employees can even be turned off working for a business if the environment isn’t right. Your aim is to keep their spirits high, and you can do that by simply maintaining a clean office.

What to do about it 

So, what’s the best way to keep an office clean? What can be done to maintain order? You don’t have to spend large amounts of money, time and effort to maintain cleanliness and rid your office of clutter. Keeping your office clean involves common sense and a positive attitude.

  1. Use storage

Do you have additional furniture floating around the office? Do you have boxes taking up space? General untidiness can hinder motivation and sometimes be dangerous. Using storage is a great idea to free up space in your office. Self-storage is the way to go; it allows you to access things whenever you need them. Sites like Spacer offer a cheap storage solution for businesses. Additionally, you want proper bins and recycling bins.

  1. Make a schedule and stick to it

Cleaning doesn’t need to be done each day. If you’re a small team in a small office, set up a cleaning schedule. Get all your colleagues on board by explaining the benefits of having a clean office. Share the tasks around and change it up every week. You don’t need to give the space an intensive clean, just wipe down the desks, vacuum, clean the kitchen and remove any rubbish.

  1. Take out the garbage every afternoon

This one seems obvious, but everyone is busy, and things are forgotten. Firstly, always try to reduce office waste. A bin left overnight can attract pests and leave bad smells in the office. Implement an office-wide bin dump each day. All you need to do is send a friendly email reminder to encourage staff to take the bins out. It will only take five minutes! Having personal bins can make this process easier.

You want to build a culture of cleanliness. You want to reward cleanliness. A work environment without clutter will be far more motivating than a messy space.

Emma Lewis is a loving mother, a devoted wife and a part of the team supporting Spacer – a company helping you find storage space whenever you need it. Emma is also a staunch supporter of the sharing economy and often mentions its benefits.

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