A paper-cluttered desk, lop-sided pile of folders, a hint of mildew,
office supplies in shambles, and a dying plant in the corner….
If most of your work-life would be spent on this disorganized desk, how do you think would it affect you? Since you’re obviously uncomfortable with that, let’s repaint the picture:
A shiny desk, neatly filed folders, a hint of citrus cleanser, pens and
clips tidily encased, and a cheery plant in the corner…
For many office workers, this setup is not only inviting but uplifting as well.
Cleanliness and Happiness
In fact, a research published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin verified that a cluttered environment leads to depression (Saxbe & Repetti, 2009). Moreover, the study’s participants revealed that those with less tidy environments had higher stress levels. If possible, restructure your working environment in such a way that a generous amount of sunlight can stream in as this has been found out to improve moods. Certainly, your environment can significantly influence your emotions.
Cleanliness and Productivity
Aside from its’ emotional impact, having an organized working environment may also increase your performance quality. A desk with crumpled papers and scattered office supplies would undeniably be overwhelming. For those who can relate, you understand the frustrating experience of having to spend ten minutes in merely looking for the right sign pen in a drawer of bric-a-brac.
Interestingly, a hygienic smell such as that of Windex unconsciously motivates reciprocity and charity (Liljenquist, Zhong, & Galinsky, 2010). The study which was published in the Association for Psychological science established that the research participants who were in clean-scented rooms gave back as well as donated significantly higher amounts of money as compared to those who were in unscented rooms. It was explained that the cleanser’s physical scent could have activated individuals’ desire to be morally cleansed.
Happiness and Productivity
Also, happiness is crucial in the workplace since it is linked with productivity. Basically, happier people are 12% more fruitful (Oswald, Proto, & Sgroi, 2014). Undeniably, employees who have more pleasant emotional states engage with a generally positive attitude. The paper, “Happiness and Productivity”, implies that more focus should be given to the subjective well-being of the workforce. It would then be beneficial for companies to invest in office cleaning services.
Inch by Inch
Now that we have established the importance of cleanliness to your emotional state as well as its impact on your professional efficiency, let’s talk about how to accomplish it in your own work space. The initial stages of any process is understandably herculean. The key is to do it inch by inch especially if your hectic work schedule seems colossal enough. For instance, dedicating 5 minutes of your daily lunch break to tidying up duties can eventually do wonders on your desk. You will be amazed by how 5-minute-clean-ups can transform your atmosphere. You may also be more inspired by workspace organization suggestions in the web. Certain organizers and desk-space setups may give you a clearer picture of your ideal working environment.
By Cliff Derksen
Owner of First Impressions Janitorial
Liljenquist, K., Zhong, C., & Galinsky, A.(2010). The smell of virtue: Clean scents promote reciprocity and charity. Association for Psychological Science. Retrieved from http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2010/02/02/0956797610361426.extract
Oswald, A., Proto, E., & Sgroi, D. (2014). Happiness and productivity. The Telegraph. Retrieved from http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/staff/eproto/workingpapers/happinessproductivity.pdf
Saxbe, D. &Repetti, R. (2009). No place like home: Home tours correlate with daily patterns of mood and cortisol. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 36, 71, DOI: 10.1177/0146167209352864