Tidy Workspaces: Part 1 – Motivators to Get Your Staff Cleaning

5 mins read

This article discusses the 4 benefits of keeping a clean work environment, and how to get the entire staff involved via weekly schedule.

As the world experiences changes and reverberations from the COVID pandemic, it’s more important than ever to implement good cleaning habits in the workplace. Pantries should be well stocked with sanitizing products to wipe down electronics and other commonly touched surfaces such as doorknobs, sink taps, kitchen counters, and tables. However, adhering to a cleaning regimen does more for your employees than just preventing the spread of illness. Here are 4 great ways in which cleanliness can promote productivity and a positive well-being, which will be sure to help get everyone on board with daily chores.

Increased Productivity: Keeping the workplace organized with designated spots for miscellaneous papers, supplies, and tools will cut down on time spent searching for lost items. Also, when everything is in its proper place, there are less distractions lying around that can impede on an employee’s focus.

Reduced Stress and Anxiety: Tidying up clutter, like taking out the trash and recycling, can greatly reduce stress and anxiety brought on by messiness. In a study conducted by Harvard University, a group of undergraduate students were separated into two rooms and told to attempt an unsolvable puzzle. The results were quite telling, as students “in a mess-free workspace were able to work steadily for 7.5 minutes longer than students who worked in a cluttered workspace.”1 This demonstrates that a “messy environment [poses] a threat to people’s sense of personal control,” which “[diminishes] their mental resources.”2

Ensures Safety: Clearing pathways of tripping hazards can help reduce workplace accidents, and also practices good fire safety by keeping evacuation routes visible and flammable items in appropriate storage.

Good (Lasting) Impressions: For visiting clients or customers, a clean environment gives them “a strong impression of efficiency and attention to detail,”1 which boosts their confidence in your abilities as a company. By leaving a good impression on guests, employees can develop a sense of pride, keeping them motivated to produce high quality work. Additionally, cleanliness is a great way for employers to show staff that their wellbeing is a priority and their work is valued.

While it’s hard to argue against points like these, cleaning duties often fall by the wayside because of the busy work week. One way to make sure everyone prioritizes their daily chores is to create a weekly cleaning schedule. This establishes a routine that employees can incorporate in their day-to-day tasks so that enough time is allotted to keeping the workplace spotless. Consistency is key because it only takes minutes to do a quick wipe down versus a deep clean every few months.

As you can see, there are a lot of advantages to maintaining a clean environment. Benefits such as increased productivity, reduced stress and anxiety, ensured employee safety, and good impressions all lend a hand to creating a safe, happy work culture. To maintain good habits, introduce your team to a weekly cleaning schedule that outlines each task, rotating responsibilities as needed so that everyone is treated equally.

To learn more, be sure to read Tidy Workspaces Part 2 where we discuss how to keep your personal desk up to par.

Download our Tidy Workspaces – Part 1 – Cleaning Schedule Template and Guide (zip).

1 Williams, Jessica Laura. “4 Reasons a Clean Workplace is Good for Business.” Crown Round Table. https://www.crownroundtable.org/4-reasons-a-clean-workplace-is-good-for-business/

2 Pickard-Whitehead, Gabrielle. “Time to Tidy Up! Less Desk Clutter Makes You More Productive, Data Shows.” Small Biz Trends. https://smallbiztrends.com/2018/01/clean-office-increases-productivity.html

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