What does your desk look like? Is it messy or are you someone that tidies up every day?
Everyone has a different working style and it’s OK to have a messy desk if ‘organised’ chaos works for you.
Albert Einstein was known for his love of his untidy office. He once said, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, then what are we to think of an empty desk?”
There have been lots of studies about desk tidiness and cleanliness and whether having a clear and clean working area can benefit us during our working day.
However, let’s face it, when it comes to working productively, it can be difficult to think clearly and work efficiently when your desk is untidy. While it can prove a challenge to carry out your work and still keep on top of the mess, there are multiple benefits of having a tidy desk.
Many workers choose to eat and drink at their desk out of convenience, but this can mean that your desk contains a lot of bacteria that can lead to illness. A typical office keyboard can carry up to 7500 bacteria at any given time. By spending time ensuring your desk is wiped clean regularly, which includes cleaning your keyboard and mouse, you can help to reduce bacteria and the risk of illness for you and your colleagues.
When your desk is messy and untidy, it can have a negative impact on your productivity. This is because an untidy work environment can distract you from the job at hand or prevent you from finding the items you need. When your desk is organised, you will be far more focussed on your tasks and be able to find the documents or stationery you need in seconds thus saving time, which can help you to be more productive.
The workplace can be a stressful environment and a cluttered desk can add to this stress. It’s therefore good practice at the end of each workday to spend a little time restoring order and tidying up your desk. If you work in an office, this action will also enable the cleaners to clean and sanitise your desk effectively and you may be more likely to start the day in a positive way.
Make A Good Impression
There is no denying that people form an opinion based on first impressions. So, imagine what people think when they see a desk that is cluttered and untidy. They might consider it to be a reflection of your personality or the way in which you work. If you have visits from clients or potential clients or people can see your desk when contacting you via Zoom or Google meet, it makes sense to ensure you create a good impression by keeping your desk clean and tidy.
Businesses now have a duty to ensure that confidential data is handled correctly, sensitively and securely. Therefore, an untidy desk could mean that confidential data and documents are left out for all to see. Documents might get hidden under other documents and they might even end up in the wrong hands should they be collected with other waste. With a clean desk, you can be sure that any documents that are out can be seen by you and then stored away when they are no longer needed without losing sight of them under clutter.
So, now you’ve decided that you’re going to tackle the mess, how can you keep your desk organised?
- Start using a junk tray.
- Recycle any old papers that you don’t need – you really don’t need to print out everything
- Colour code documents/folders to find them quicker.
- Clean your desk, keyboard, phone and mouse regularly
- Find a home for your folders/stationery/other items and keep them there. Don’t have things thrown all over your desk.
- Tidy your desk every night so that it’s clear for the next morning
If you can see that your productivity is waning and your desk is hidden under a pile of paperwork, maybe it’s time to have a little sort out and spray the Dettol!
There are so many benefits of having a clean and tidy desk, so it makes sense to ensure you spend a few minutes each day keeping on top of this important task.
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