When a business doesn’t have clients regularly coming into the office, it can seem like the care and maintenance of that office just isn’t a worthwhile priority. Sure, making sure that the roof won’t fall on your head and that it is generally not a pig sty is a good idea, but why bother keeping the office terribly clean or organized if it doesn’t need to be presented as such for image purposes? The truth, however, is that as long as your employees are working in the office environment, then there is a real benefit to your bottom line in keeping your office clean, tidy, and organized.
The first thing for you to understand is that your environment contributes quite a bit to your state of mind, and the same is true for your employees. When the office is dirty or cluttered, their mind is concomitantly cluttered as well, unable to focus. Chaos and disorganization will lead to similar results in their productivity, with their work seeming chaotic and disorganized as well. Furthermore, a cluttered office sends certain messages.
When you come into work and you see that it is dirty, cluttered, and poorly maintained, you are going to have a hard time having respect for that company. After all, why do businesses strive to ensure a clean and organized appearance when clients visit the office, if not to foster respect and a good relationship with that client? The same goes for your employees, however; their state of mind and their perception of where they work will be negatively affected by a poorly maintained office.
If an employee does not respect the company they work for, you can be sure that they will not turn in their best work or utilize their time efficiently. Ultimately, an employee wants to believe that they’re part of something – a team and an organization that is going somewhere. It is hard to believe that a dirty, cluttered office is going anywhere but to bankruptcy court, though.
In fact, employees in a cluttered office often find ways to procrastinate. With piles of documents, other projects that are half-finished, and of course, minor cleaning jobs that employees could take care of all throughout the office, it isn’t hard to find something to distract yourself with in a cluttered office, especially when you’re facing a difficult task or a distant deadline.
Working Against Uncleanliness
Even if your employees are attempting to work efficiently in the office, clutter can slow them down and impact productivity in a profoundly negative way. First, it forces employees to search for things for an extended period of time. Documents become lost, files are buried, and whatever organizing system originally used to keep everything easily accessible has long since been abandoned. Your employees must waste valuable time trying to find what they need to get their jobs done, and that’s bad news for you.
Another, even more dangerous effect of a poorly maintained office is the potential for a health threat. First, a cluttered office could easily have emergency exits and hallways blocked, along with fire extinguishers covered and other fire hazards. Additionally, clutter on the floor could cause someone to trip and hurt themselves, spraining an ankle or fracturing a limb. As you can imagine, this isn’t great for employee productivity!
Additionally, dirt, dust, and pollen collecting on window sills, desks, and other less-frequently trafficked areas can cause your employees to become ill due to allergies or even just because they’re breathing in quite a bit of stale, unhealthy particulates! Obviously, a sick work force is an unproductive work force, and one that likely has morale issues as well.