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Cleanliness and Its Effect on Productivity in the Workplace

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Wanda Wiggins
Wanda Wiggins
Wanda Wiggins is a communication expert and training professional. She holds an M.A. in Communication and a B.A. in Business Communication.

Cleanliness and Its Effect on Productivity in the Workplace

Picture this scenario: you walk into your office and are immediately overwhelmed by the chaotic scene. It appears that desks are covered in a plethora of papers, files, and other office supplies. Monitors are framed with Post-It notes, and various items such as notebooks and pens are scattered across the room. The floors have a noticeable layer or dust and dirt and the air is stale due to lack of air circulation. To make matters worse, the walls are stained with dirt, grease, coffee stains, and other substances. You think to yourself, “How can anyone be expected to work in such an environment?” The answer is simple; they can’t. At least not well. Studies have shown that when a workspace is cluttered and unorganized, it can lead to decreased productivity, frustration, and lower morale. Who doesn’t want to work in a cleaner workplace?

Clutter and unorganized workspaces can be distracting and make it difficult to focus and stay on task. It can also lead to feelings of stress and overwhelm as you try to find items or organize your work. Additionally, it can be difficult to collaborate and work together in a cluttered environment, leading to reduced morale.

Fortunately, for business owners and their leadership team, implementing a cleaner workplace isn’t an expensive endeavor or an overwhelming task. But the changes required must start and come from the top!

“Straighten Up!” a Cleaner Workplace Results in a More Successful Business

A clean and organized workspace creates an atmosphere of control and order, allowing employees to be more productive and focused. Control and order creates a sense of purpose and direction in employees, which innately motivates them to be more productive. As an owner or operator of the business, this may be an attitude you deeply desire to see more of from your employees.

Cleanliness doesn’t just benefit employees, however. Business owners should rethink the importance of cleanliness in the workplace by recognizing that it is a key component of a successful business. A clean office environment not only benefits employees, it can also improve customer service and overall brand perception.

Additionally, business owners should recognize that cleanliness impacts their bottom line through reduced costs associated with turnover, illness, and absenteeism. Owners and operators should strive to create a culture of cleanliness by setting a good example and encouraging employees to take pride in their workspace.

Overall, maintaining a clean and organized office should be a priority for businesses. Not only does it benefit the company and its employees, but it also reflects positively on the business. Keeping a workspace clean and organized can help create a positive work environment that encourages productivity and success.

clean workplace 2-min

Implementing Cleaner Workplace Practices

It’s not impossible to change the condition of a workplace in short order. The most important component to creating and maintaining a cleaner work environment is to implement it at the top of the organization first.

If upper management is enforcing and encouraging employees to meet or exceed the cleaning practices expected of them, then the chances of the office staying cleaner more consistently are higher. To start, consider these simple practices that do not require a complete overhaul straight out of the gate:

  •  Create a cleaning schedule – Develop a daily or weekly cleaning schedule that      describes specific duties for the upkeep of the office, like dusting, vacuuming, and sanitizing the bathrooms.


  • Supply cleaning materials – Make sure that everyone has access to the tools needed to keep the office neat, such as garbage bags, mops, and cleaning products.


  • Adopt a no-food regulation – Diminish messes by forbidding food and beverages in the office and designating an area for meal times and breaks.


  • Implement storage solutions – Find ways to store items in an organized manner, like filing cabinets, bookshelves, or storage bins.


  • Enforce a clean desk protocol – Urge employees to keep their desks neat and orderly. Remind them to not bring items into the office that they won’t need. Educate them on the importance of staying organized and keeping the office in good condition.


  • Consistently dispose of trash – Develop a sensible system for frequently getting rid of rubbish and recycling that everyone agrees to and follows.


  • Create an “Inbox” Program – Assign your team physical inboxes for incoming paperwork and documents.


  • Invest in a cleaning service – If your budget allows, consider hiring a commercial cleaning service to help maintain the cleanliness of your office.

Your Company and Team Deserve the Best

You don’t just owe it to your team to provide them with a clean, safe, organized work environment; you owe it to yourself as the owner or operator of your company! It’s common knowledge that business owners should always be finding ways to improve the performance of the business because it is the only way to stay competitive in the market. Companies that are constantly striving to make improvements and stay ahead of the competition are the ones that will be successful in the long run.

By taking the time to identify and make improvements in the less obvious areas of their business, owners can ensure that their business is running as smoothly as possible. Luckily, implementing cleaner practices in the workplace is not a complicated or expensive process; it’s an affordable, simple, and extremely wise return on investment.

If you are looking for a way to improve your company immediately, take a look around the office. If it could use a good cleaning, then the next improvement to be made in the company is an obvious one. Happy employees make for happier customers and, as a business owner or operator, you can’t possibly ask for more than that.

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