No matter where you work, there are always 2 types of people – the ones who keep everything spotless, and the ones with food crumbs in their keyboard. Because it’s difficult for those two types of people to interact, you often get offices that look clean and organised, until you open a cupboard and find everything thrown in haphazardly. While pushing it out of sight might make everyone feel better in the short term, this kind of cluttered environment can have adverse effects on your employee’s productivity and mental health if it’s left there for a long time.
Your Brain Hates Clutter
No really, it does. Even if you don’t think you mind it, your brain is struggling to cope in a cluttered environment. The human brain is wired to respond positively to order and negatively to chaos, and this negativity can manifest in a lot of different ways. A chaotic, cluttered environment will make you feel stressed, down, ill and even run down, with no enthusiasm for doing anything. If you’ve ever blitz cleaned a room, you will be familiar with that deep sense of satisfaction that comes when you’re finished. That’s more than just the feeling of a job well done – that’s your brain flooding with endorphins in a positive response to order. This happens because it’s much easier for the brain to deal with clear, organised spaces, which in turn will leave you feeling calmer and more energised. Scientists liken clutters effect on your brain to extreme multitasking, and so many things to focus on leaves it tired, confused and struggling to process new information.
Sounds good, but what real benefits do you get from decluttering your office space? I mean, clutter is more of a ‘home’ issue, isn’t it? No. By decluttering your office space, you are helping each person working there to:
Improve Their Concentration
Clutter is as major source of distraction, and can often be used as an easy get out to avoid doing work. A cluttered, dirty environment ruins focus and interrupts your ability to concentrate, so removing the clutter immediately improves the concentration of everyone in the office, leading to more productive work.
Research done by universities in America has shown that clutter has a direct link to stress levels, particularly in women. Studies of 32 families and the relationship with the ‘clutter objects’ in their life, both at home and at work, showed that clutter contributed greatly to an increased base level of stress, overloading the senses and preventing them from being able to think clearly.
Clutter anywhere in your life acts as a burden hanging over you head. It’s a constant, nagging reminder that your work is never done, and that ‘should have’ mentality can have a really negative impact on your mood and self-esteem. You can begin to feel guilty that it isn’t sorted and indulge in negative self-talk, which in turn bleeds into your personal life and affects your mental health. Clearing the clutter removes this burden and reduces the negativity, improving your mood.
Among other things, clutter is a haven for dust and bacteria. Just like at home, cluttered offices tend to have more issues with allergies – from more hay fever symptoms in summer to frequent colds and flu in winter. Dust can also contribute to ‘brain fog’, which impacts your ability to think clearly. Clearing the clutter not only helps you breathe easier, but it enables you to keep your office cleaner and reduce air based issues.
For more information or help clearing out the clutter in your office space, Greenaway can help. Our expert cleaners, archivers and shredders can help you sort through the cupboards and reduce the clutter and debris in your office, and even instigate a system to avoid it happening again. Treat yourself and your office to a clean start, just in time for the new year. Just get in touch today to book.