How a Clean Office Boosts Productivity

When you think of ways to boost employee productivity, what comes to mind?

Most minds probably wander to caffeine, periodic breaks, physical exercise, or team-building activities.  However, most minds probably don’t even consider the effects that a clean environment can have on their own productivity at work. Research proves that a clean office leads to higher employee productivity and engagement, and we gathered some evidence to help prove our point.

A Cluttered Desk…

The old saying, “a cluttered desk leads to a cluttered mind,” holds a lot of merits.  And while some geniuses are notorious for their messiness, few of us are on a path to the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony.  Studies actually show that a clean environment significantly improves productivity.

One particular Harvard University experiment tasked 100+ undergrads to complete “unsolvable” puzzles and divided them into two groups: one side being exposed to a perfectly tidy workspace and the others with desks that were cluttered.  The students in tidy environments stuck with the task 1.5 times as long before giving up. A few more experiments were drawn with the same results, giving the conclusion that messy, untidy workplaces can undermine people’s persistence in completing tasks.

Employees that are Ill…

Research shows that the average employee loses 9 working days a year due to sickness.  It’s no secret that once one employee comes into work sick, more people are bound to follow suit.  As ill employees share coffee pots and door handles or cough and sneeze into the air we breathe, germs can spread with ease.  The typical keyboard alone can carry up to 7,500 bacteria at any given time, and viruses like the flu can linger on desks and equipment for up to 24 hours.

Even if an employee attempts to work while sick, their fatigue and/or constant breaks will significantly halt productivity.  So, a clean environment not only cuts down on absenteeism, it also keeps employees working hard while they’re in the office.

Un-safe Environments…

A messy office can result in plenty of safety hazards as well. In fact, workplace injuries Work environments that involve heavy machinery and/or physical labor deserve a clean environment to ensure that operations run smoothly and safely.  When offices are cluttered with unkept floors, such as scattered boxes or slippery tile, employees are prone to danger.

Employee and Client Morale…

Bright, open offices are not only easier to work in, but they also improve the moods of both employees and clients.  Incoming customers and prospective clients are thrown off by a messy environment and consider it a testament to the way your business is run.  Employees in clean working environments are naturally likely to be happier, and happier employees are more likely to engage in meaningful work.

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