Updated: May 11
The environment you work in affects your attitude and productivity at work.
Maintaining a clean and organized workplace means a healthy and comfortable environment for you and your employees.
A clean workplace has also been shown to reduce sick days. Also, you’d want your clients to leave your office with a good impression.
Moreover, it’s way easier to find stuff and important documents in an organized office space than in a messy one.
1. Reduce office items!
A first way to reduce office items is giving a Welcome Pack in the company colors to all of your employees when they join the company. Notepad, pen, calendar, pencil pot, pouch, mouse mat or even USB. Even if it stays on a desk, it’s corporate and can’t be bad publicity for your company!
Your employees will still want a bit of liberty about their personal space decoration. Hence, you can accept 1 or 2 personal items per desk, for example.
Dave Crenshaw, a time management expert said that organizing your desk is crucial because it allows you to focus your mind on one thing and one thing only.
Minimalism desk = focus. Focus = productivity!
As simple as it seems less paper means less mess and more focus.
An easy way to do this is asking for PDF documents. When you receive invoices from other companies, for example. Faster and easier to tidy up!
I agree that sometimes paper is mandatory. Hence, use a small room or closet to keep your organized binders full of papers. Classifying before tidying up is the key!
Dematerializing is even good for the environment! Give an ecological image to your company!
3. Keep simple cleaning product within reach
Leave simple cleaning products near your employees or somewhere they can find it easily. For example, wipes - fast and useful. A clean space makes you want to work!
4. Neutral computer wallpaper
Having a neutral wallpaper on your computer allows you less distraction. Plus, people passing by and looking above your shoulder (even if they shouldn’t) don’t need to see your privacy. It’s fine to put scenery travel photos, but no family pictures or personal taste in politics or music. The best way to keep a neutral wallpaper still is the company logo.
5. Use drawers!
Let your employee keep their things close, but not too close! Many people like to have a wide range of pens or many office equipment such as tape, Post-it,… With drawers, they can have it and “hide them”.
6. Give deadlines!
It’s important for your teams to know when a work has to be done so they can move on. The best is to keep only your current subject on your desk and put all the other ones away. Let’s say in a drawer! Again, it will help productivity as distraction disappears from your desk.
7. Notepad for everybody!
Some are from the “if I can’t see it, I forget it” team. Those people are afraid to forget about a subject if they can’t see anything about it on their desk. For those, the Grail is a notepad or a To do list block note. With this they can organize everything they have to do during the week or the day and it takes us back to the tip number 6… Deadlines are important!
8. Daily habit
Asking your employee to tidy up their desk before leaving work is easy and it won’t take them much time, 5 minutes at the most. Those minutes can be really helpful for the company’s cleaners who won’t have to lift anything or be afraid to move an important document while cleaning up the office area.
Also, when you arrive at work the next morning and see a clean desk you can easily visualize what you have to do during the day. Like that you can show a clean and focused mind full of professionalism! See in the future and not in the past!
9. Adapt your clean desk policy
Don’t forget to use all the previous tips by adapting them to your company’s occupation. Studies reveal that sometimes a messy desk can increase creativity and productivity. Even if it applies only to some professions, it still has to be recognized.
Your policy has to suit your employees’ occupation and mindset. Their personality and work has to be taken into account so their success can be encouraged.
Also, a “messy” and productive employee is sometimes better than a tidy employee who spends the whole day cleaning his desk.
Every employee is different and this difference has to be respected.
10. Show the example!
If the Directors and Managers don’t follow the rule why will the employee?
Credibility is important!
What to keep in mind?
Your clean desk policy has to follow your company culture.
Clean doesn’t always mean organized and messy doesn’t always mean disorderly!
For a clear mind, you need a clean environment.
Organize your desk, it’ll organize your work!