The cluttered environment of the organization affects the way one works. When the workplace becomes a mess, the same is reflected in the case of the people working in that organization.
We lose our efficient work minutes searching for an important document that is lost on our cluttered desk. An international survey has found that an employee loses up to 2 hours of his/her fruitful time per week over searching for a lost digital document. So, it is not just about the cluttered desk but also about the cluttered desktop or laptop.
Research shows that the clutter at the workplace is leading to stress which is costing businesses up to $190 billion every year. It is time to realize the role clutter plays in our work lives — and start working towards cleaning up the mess.
How clutter affects your brain and work:
A research made by an International Institute has found out that the constant disorganization drains our cognitive resource and reduces our ability to focus. Whereas when the same desks were cleaned from clutter the results showed that the employees were able to focus and process the information effectively thus leading to productivity improvement. It is also possible that a cluttered office produces employees who make poor eating choices during breaks and spend less time working.
Clutter can make us feel anxious, stressed or depressed. The research found that the stress hormone cortisol was high in a lady whose household environment was cluttered. The more the hormones sustains and increases it leads to an increase in the level of stress and anxiety.
Even our relations can be affected by such an environment. Research suggests that those with messy desks seemed to be less conscientious, more neurotic and less agreeable. Such observations create a negative image of these employees among their peers.
What can be done to make it right?
Regularly cleaning workplace and desk is a proven way to keep clutter away at the bay. Do not let things compile in a way such that looking at it you start delaying to clean it.
For teams and organizations, develop a regular cleaning habit. Imbibe cleaning in the organization’s culture. Consider introducing a clean-desk policy to administer the tidiness of shared workspaces. Take help from your IT team to provide tools to manage online documents, as well as a list of what should be kept and what can be discarded. While doing this, an organization needs to consider the security policy and keep in mind employees’ need for privacy and independence.
Finally, keep this under consideration that clutter isn’t always bad. One study has shown that sometimes messy desks can even help us become more creative. The findings of the study suggest that neat & ordered environments make us more likely to adopt the expectations and play it safe, while messy ones move us to look at things in a new way. Hence, while a totally clean and organized desk might indicate lack of creativity, a very unorganized or messy one may send unfavorable messages about your work ethic and personality. Keep things on hand that is needed for current projects, but resist the temptation to hoard.
Written & Compiled by Faber Priyal & Faber Mayuri