Two months ago, my supervisor from the first organisation I worked with sent me a photograph of me in my cubicle while I was working with them. I was horrified at how messy and disorganized it looked. I then recalled how stressful it was for me trying to work in that disorganized little space and the painful experience of colleagues judging how dirty I was by what they saw in my working space.
A survey by American staffing firm Adecco, reveals that 57% of employees judge their co-workers by how clean or dirty their workspaces appear and I am sure I fell victim to this.
Different people work in different ways, but you have to be reasonable about the appearance of your working area. Having a messy desk may not be a bother because you can easily reach out for any document when asked to produce it but there keeping an organized work space has its benefits including;
It increases your efficiency. Every worker has a maximum of 8 working hours daily and would like to make the best out of all these hours of work. Keeping your work space clean makes it easier to achieve maximum productivity. Filing emails and papers scattered on your desk will make it easier to identify documents when seeking for them and you would have been saved a lot of time. This is true, especially when under a tight deadline to complete a report or when you are out of the office and a colleague needs to get a document from your desk. Another research conducted showed that most workers spend between 5 to 8 percent of their day looking for things rather than actually being productive.
It reduces your stress. Stress has been identified as one of the causes of the increasing ill health of workers within organizations. Having a cluttered workspace contributes a lot to being stressed out. Just think of the last time you had to rifle through a stack of papers or a mountain of emails for a single buried document. Tidying up can reduce your feelings of pressure and constraint.
Enhances your image at work. When Ghana was to receive the President of the United States of America, President Barrack Obama, in 2009, the principal streets of Accra and Cape Coast saw some extensive cleaning beforehand so that the visiting president could feel very welcomed, and impressed. Workers should take the same approach with their working space. Why? Because appearances matter. The tidier your desk, the more impressed people would be with the work especially when you have to render some form of service to a client within your working space. Imagine the lasting impression that is created when you visit a restaurant with a very dirty environment?
Uncover forgotten items. An immediate benefit of tidying up your workspace regularly is discovering forgotten ideas from past brainstorming sessions, documents that must be kept in safer places and assignments that never made it to your supervisor’s desk. Even if you do not consider yourself particularly messy or disorganized, it is easy for a number of things to slip out of files or folders during a busy workday. It is just important to clean your desk regularly; you may never know what you will come across.
Gain a sense of accomplishment. Cleaning up simply feels good. It is just great to always have a working space free with so many papers and having everything on your desk properly organized. Giving your desk a good facelift is one thing that can be done relatively quickly and you can see tangible results afterwards.
Finding time to clean up may be the next big thing on your head after discovering the benefits of a well-organized work space. You do not need to invest several hours to make a noticeable impact. Allocate a few minutes each day to cleaning and organizing your space, and you will gradually be on your way to achieving a workspace free of clutters.